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Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Summary: Eleanor Oliphant has never been a social creature. She struggles with a controlling mother and a dark secret, but when she falls for a singer, meets a new friend at work, and saves a man on the street, Eleanor finds herself navigating the social world in a whole new way.

Review: I'm not sure what I expected from Eleanor Oliphant, but it wasn't what lay between these covers (not that that's a bad thing).

I found Eleanor endearing, but at the same time annoying, as she tried to figure out social cues and friendships. Part of me wanted to shake her half the time, although some of her faux pas were quite amusing.

Even though he was not the main character, Raymond ended up being my favorite. His witty quips and caring personality made him lovable and I respected how he never gave up on Eleanor, even when she was rude toward him.

The other characters were also well crafted and it was interesting seeing them evolve in Eleanor's mind.

As far as the plot, Eleanor entering the social realm triggers her to remember her horrible past that she has suppressed into the dark recesses of her mind. Although, it is not difficult to figure out from the very beginning what happened. It is actually more surprising that Eleanor doesn't figure it out for herself much earlier, perhaps because she didn't want to.

Eleanor's mental health becomes a key point in the book as she realizes the crush she has on a singer who doesn't even know she exists (along with her fantasies about their future), is all in her head. Her struggle with the ensuing depression is something that I can relate to as she felt she could not even get off the floor. It was identifiable and gave hope seeing her come out the other side, stronger.

The ending, however, felt a bit unnecessary. It felt as though the whole time the main twist was easily given, just so you wouldn't expect the second (no spoilers). Not that it didn't make sense, but it just seemed cheap.

Overall, though, this book was completely fine.


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