Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life.
She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy.
Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence.
Except, sometimes… everything.
I know what you’re thinking now.
Why on Earth are you starting the month of December – the most wonderful time of the year! – with one of the the saddest books ever written?
Well… think about it this way.
If you’re looking to get a meaningful present for a bookworm this Christmas – then get them Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine.
Name: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
No. of pages: approx. 390 (there’s a Q&A with the author in the end)
Number of copies sold: 450,000 in 30 countries by May 2018
How long it took me to read it: A weekend! T-W-O days people!
Short overview: You know what type of person is Eleanor?
If she were your neighbor, you’d avoid her like the plague. If you saw here on the bus, you wouldn’t sit next to her. And if she were your friend… well, you’d probably get offended one too many times.
Oh, wait… she doesn’t have any friends.
Eleanor lives in her own little universe by her own rules. She wears the same clothes, eats the same food, and does the same thing at the same time – every single day.
Absolutely lacking the social skills mandatory to navigate the 21st century, she’s somehow making it work on her own – and everything is just fine.
Until one day, a simple act of kindness turns her whole world upside-down – and shows her that life can be much more than fine.
Things I liked
Here’s what I liked about the book!
The writing style
You know me by now – I like to be melodramatic. And this book hit right in the core of melodramatic.
It’s complicated but simple, sophisticated yet touching. Some parts I enjoyed so much, I went to re-read them after I was done reading the book.
The meaning behind the story
In a world where we keep consuming on a daily basis – more often than not, meaningless stuff – it’s nice to read something that has a meaning for a change.
Honeyman got the inspiration for the book after reading an article on loneliness – one of the most serious, yet most overlooked conditions of the modern world.
*side note – you can feel lonely even if you’re not alone!*
Let’s just say that one of the best decisions I’ve made lately was to start reading fiction only. I missed reading a book with actual people in it – that I can actually connect with.
Honeyman did a wonderful job with every single one of the characters! Yes – even with Mummy. Don’t know about you, but I could almost see them if I closed my eyes while reading the book.
And I absolutely and positively loved the personality of the cat.
The things I didn’t like
Here’s what I didn’t quite like about Eleanor Oliphant is Completely fine.
The story is slow at times
If you’re used to reading more fast-paced novels – think thrillers – you might get slightly uncomfortable with the speed of the events here – or the lack of.
It’s not everyone’s cup of tea
Someone – I can’t remember who! – told me this before I started reading it.
You’ll either love it or hate it – there’s no in-between.
I have to admit, no matter how much I loved it, some parts of the book are pretty dark and heavy.
You’re left wondering
The ending is an emotional roller coaster. You go up and down and then up again and then you’re just floating.
It’s still not completely clear to me. Is Eleanor somewhere on the spectrum? Schizophrenic? PTSD? Depressed? Or simply – that’s what happens when you spend too much time on your own?
Whatever she is, at least there’s a glimmer of hope at the end that one day, she gets to be much more than just fine.
Final grade: 5/5
Why did I love this book so much? After all, it’s just another book with a weird woman heroine that has a mellow, bittersweet ending.
What’s so special about it?
You know, there are the books that inspire you to be braver. Then there are the books that dare you to travel more. And some books stun you, leaving you speechless.
But there aren’t a lot of books that inspire you to be a better person – kinder, slightly more tolerant, and a bit more helpful. Well, at least not to random people you meet along theway.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine gives you another perspective on life. A perspective we so often forget about – or we like to pretend it doesn’texist.
And that’s what makes it so special to me.
Have you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine? Did you love it – or hate it? Leave us a comment and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
Next time, I’ll be talking about my newest hobby – buying books second hand!