Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, a book chosen by my book club and one that I would have never actually read. However, when it comes to book clubs, it is impossible not to read. Besides, since these book clubs were clubs that I stubbornly and lovingly joined just to read other kinds of books, I did not speak up.


Knowing I wouldn’t want to reread Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, instead of buying it, I asked my favourite member of the club to lend it to me three days before our meeting. She gave it to me with a smile because she believed that I could never finish 380 pages in three days. But, I finished it in two days. If I didn’t have a guest staying over, I could have finished it in a day. Not because it is amazing, but because it is an easy read, without depths.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine tells the story of Eleanor. Eleanor is a woman who lived alone until she was thirty and never needed anyone in her life. She is perfectly happy in her own little world and rituals and does not need anyone. But unfortunately, she cannot stop herself and drink two bottles of vodka on the weekends.

She works as an accountant at an advertising agency she started working for at the age of 21, and she cannot get along with her colleagues. She doesn’t want to get along with them if you want the truth. She then falls in love with someone one day. On the other hand, she slowly begins to become friends with the new IT staff member in the office.

Now, although with what you have read so far, you may think Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a boring book, as it progresses, you realise that there is a big thing hidden in Eleanor’s past, and Eleanor is not a normal person at all. The tiny comments and her strange behaviour signal something terrible. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was, in my opinion, is an ordinary beach book, nothing more.

A book you wouldn’t be sorry if it were stolen or fall into the pool. If you ask me for a book recommendation, I would never think of this book, but I may recommend it if you ask me for a book to read at the beach. Or maybe I wouldn’t because Eleanor is a victim of child abuse and clinically depressed. But she (unrealistically) recovers after a couple of sessions and finding love. Ugh! You know what? I wouldn’t recommend this at all. But you can check this list if you’re looking for uplifting books: 10 Uplifting Books to Read While Social Distancing

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine - Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation that they had been living. Ultimately, it is Raymond’s big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one. If she does, she’ll learn that she, too, is capable of finding friendship—and even love—after all.

Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

the only way to survive is to open your heart.

Gail Honeyman

Gail Honeyman (born 1972) is a Scottish writer whose debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award.

Born and raised in Stirling in central Scotland to a mother who worked as a civil servant and a father in science, Honeyman was a voracious reader in her childhood, visiting the library “a ridiculous number of times a week”.

She studied French language and literature at Glasgow University, before continuing her education at the University of Oxford for a postgraduate course in French poetry. However, she decided that an academic career was not for her and started a string of “backroom jobs”, first as a civil servant in economic development and then as an administrator at Glasgow University.

While working as an administrator, Honeyman enrolled in a Faber Academy writing course, submitting the first three chapters of what would become Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine to a competition for unpublished fiction by female writers, run by Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College. The novel, published in 2017, went on to earn numerous awards and wide critical acclaim.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award, and since then Honeyman has been interviewed often, including by The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and Waterstones. Of her relationship with the book’s titular character she told The Daily Telegraph: “Eleanor Oliphant isn’t me, or anyone I know [but] of course I’ve felt loneliness – everybody does”. In January 2018, Honeyman said she was working on a new novel, “set in a different period and location.”

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: 

Read Around the World, A Great Journey

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