Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Gail Honeyman

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.

Welcome back everyone, we move from a Christmas love story to an award-winning fiction novel. I was given this one for Christmas last yr and was sceptical about reading it but lots of people I work with assured me I’d love it.

The way people raved about this book I expected it to be profound and almost soul inspiring. Yet I was left hanging without ever finding out what was going on with Eleanor. It’s obvious something is wrong, but it’s never explained what it is.

For a book that felt like it was going to have a strong message around mental health awareness it felt like it missed the mark by a long way. Other than the fact that she suffers yet also feels many of the same feelings as others there’s nothing unique or informative about what she’s going through. I would’ve loved to have found out what exactly she was suffering with and then seen those around her support her in a way that shows mental illness can’t hold you back.

In the end the only reason I finished the book was because I’d been assured that all Eleanor’s oddities would be explained because it’d be shoved in my face so much it’d be impossible to miss. If I had have known that I wouldn’t get any answers I would’ve DNF. But I was assured all the answers would be given to me.

If you’ve read it and can help me out, please do. Because I honestly think there was so much missing.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, on Saturday I’ll be reviewing A Cosy Christmas in Cornwall by Jane Linfoot.


Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below!

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8 Replies to “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine – Gail Honeyman”

    1. I do believe it’s on the right track, but I also felt like it missed a few key things that would’ve made this book great to me. I still think it’s worth a read to read how someone who is experiencing mental health issues goes through life. In that way, it was great. Just expect to be left wondering what they were going through.

  1. I am sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy this book. I haven’t read so I can’t help you, sorry. Maybe check out the question section on Goodreads? I always go there if there is something in a book I don’t get. <3

    1. I never thought to look there, but having a look there’s no answer. There is even a great big debate over what it is exactly she suffers from. It really is amazing that people can’t just agree that mental health is so complex and unique to each person and would rather rip each other down over it. It feels kinda counter-productive to what the point of this book was… Or at least, what I thought the point was

    1. Maybe it needed something like a teaser about the fire she was in, a mention of her mental illness. Like it’s obvious SOMETHING is going on but I spent more time trying to pick about her thoughts etc to try and figure out what it was than anything else. I’m glad I’m not the only one who felt like this though!

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