Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine

Gail Honeyman

Book - 2017

"Smart, warm, uplifting, 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 her heart. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to s...ay the least) and a bit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, 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 on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one"--

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Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Published
New York, New York : Pamela Dorman Books/Viking [2017]
Language
English
Physical Description
327 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9780735220690
9780735220683
0735220689
Main Author
Gail Honeyman (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Move over, Ove (in Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove, 2014)—there's a new curmudgeon to love. Thirty-year-old Eleanor Oliphant leads a highly predictable life, working at an office, eating the same meals alone in her apartment, and spending her weekends regularly administering vodka (she usually goes without speaking to another human from the time she bids farewell to the bus driver on Friday until she greets another one on Monday). She is, as she regularly tells herself, fine. But when a chance encounter with a local musician sends her reeling into the throes of a full-fledged crush, her carefully constructed world breaks open. Soon she is embarking on a self-improvement program from the outside in, complete with shopping trips, manicure, makeup, and attempts at hairstyling. The real changes, however, are slowly taking place within, as she develops a friendship with a man from work and eventually learns the wonderful rewards that come to those who open their hearts. Walking in Eleanor's practical black Velcro shoes is delightfully amusing, her prudish observations leavened with a privately puckish humor. But readers will also be drawn in by her tragic backstory, which slowly reveals how she came to be so entirely Eleanor. Witty, charming, and heartwarming, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is a remarkable debut about a singular woman. Readers will cheer Eleanor as she confronts her dark past and turns to a brighter future. Feel good without feeling smarmy. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Eleanor Oliphant, the friendless 29-year-old finance clerk in a small Scottish graphics design firm, feels safest in the cocoon of strict routines both at work and at home. Unfazed by office gossip about her peculiarities (she acknowledges that her coworkers have a point), Eleanor's careful firewalls start to crack. She simultaneously develops a crush on a bar musician and is reluctantly drawn into a tentative friendship with Raymond, the new IT guy, and with Sammy, an older man whose life she and Raymond save. Without a shred of self-pity and lacking nearly all social skills (but willing to learn them) owing to her shocking, savage past, Eleanor is unaware of her ability to charm and inspire those who want to help her and those who grow to care for her. VERDICT Honeyman's exquisite, heartbreaking, funny, and irresistible novel brings to life a character so original and pitch-perfect that it is nearly impossible to believe this is a debut. Surprises abound as the author boldly turns literary expectations upside down and gives to her readers Eleanor Oliphant, who, yes, is completely, beautifully fine. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/16.]—Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Socially maladroit Eleanor Oliphant manages to forge a bond with bumbly but bighearted Raymond, the office IT guy. Then they befriend Sammy, an older gent they rescue. Short-listed for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize, bought with a second novel in a multiday auction, and sold to 26 countries. Copyright 2016 Library Journal.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

Thirty-year-old narrator Eleanor Oliphant's life in Glasgow is one of structure and safety, but it doesn't offer many opportunities for human connection. At her job of 10 years as a finance clerk, she endures snickers and sidelong glances from her coworkers because she is socially awkward and generally aloof, and her weekends are spent with copious amounts of vodka. Office IT guy Raymond Gibbons becomes a fixture in her life after they help an elderly man, Sammy Thom, when he collapses in the street. Raymond and Sammy slowly bring Eleanor out of her shell, requiring her to confront some terrible secrets from her past. Her burgeoning friendship with Raymond is realistically drawn, and, refreshingly, it doesn't lead to romance, though the lonely Eleanor yearns for love. Debut author Honeyman expertly captures a woman whose inner pain is excruciating and whose face and heart are scarred, but who still holds the capacity to love and be loved. Eleanor's story will move readers. (May) Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Office worker Eleanor adheres to a strict routine that has insulated her from the memories of her traumatic childhood but has not shielded her from loneliness. But after she meets Raymond, she attempts to rediscover her memories and in the process learns how relationships (including those with friends, lovers, and colleagues) operate and that other people can be a source of joy rather than destruction. Readers may find Eleanor odd at first but will feel compassion and root for her as she grapples with severe depression and her painful childhood. Though the novel deals with dark themes, quirky Eleanor's firm bond with Raymond and their adventures lighten the tone. Teens will be spellbound as Eleanor unravels the mystery of her past and develops a sense of self. VERDICT For those seeking a dramatic page-turner combined with a whimsical love story.—April Sanders, Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"Smart, warm, uplifting, 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 her heart. Meet Eleanor Oliphant: she struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. That, combined with her unusual appearance (scarred cheek, tendency to wear the same clothes year in, year out), means that Eleanor has become a creature of habit (to say the least) and abit of a loner. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, 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 on the sidewalk, the three become the kind of friends who rescue each other from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And itis Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one"--

Review by Publisher Summary 3

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERA Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick“Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!” —Reese WitherspoonNo 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 social interactions, 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 on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting 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.