Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
My favourite quote; “He’d switched on the fire, one of those gas ones that’s supposed to look real, and we both stared at it. There must be some piece of wiring left over in our brains, from our ancestors, something that means we can’t help but stare into a fire, watch it move and dance, warding off evil spirits and dangerous animals… that’s what fire’s supposed to do, isn’t it? It can do other things too, though.”
Everywhere I went, I saw this book; Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, whether it was the supermarket, in a bookshop window or on a bedside table when completing property inspections for clients in work. I could not get away from it, so of course I needed it. I was desperate by this point to find out what the fuss was about. A story about a girl who is happy but sometimes isn’t with her simple life, it didn’t sound particularly interesting for a bestseller. Oh how wrong I was. When reading so many books, you tend to find that there are certain characters that just stick with you no matter what, Eleanor Oliphant is one of those characters.
Eleanor is a single 29/30 year old woman who lives alone in a council flat, works to her strict timetable in an accountancy office of 9 years, eats alone for lunch with her crossword puzzles, speaks to ‘mummy’ on Wednesdays, treats herself to pizza on a Friday nights and a bottle of vodka over the weekend. Eleanor lives in her own little bubble where nothing can touch her simple and ‘normal’ lifestyle and she is completely fine. Or is she?
With her lack of basic social skills, Eleanor doesn’t understand why her co-workers act the way they do around her, it’s simply bizarre, but it doesn’t touch her. She’s happy passing through her days with no friends and prefers to be alone. So when Raymond, the new I.T guy, walks into her life, she finds his means to make a friendship strange and tries to avoid him. On one of the occasions when avoiding Raymond was unsuccessful, they came across Sammy, an elderly man who fell over in the street and needs help. When Raymond asks to see if she would like to visit Sammy in the hospital to see how he’s doing, Eleanor is surprised but agrees, which is how the trio become the most unlikely acquaintances.
Raymond begins to change Eleanors normal routine which she discovers she actually enjoys since she’s never been invited anywhere until now. With these new changes in her life, she beings to change things about herself that didn’t matter before; her clothes, her hairstyle and her old fashioned but oh so useful shopper with wheels as she becomes alot more bolder and confident with herself. You being to see how Eleanor becomes more dependant on others and how she beings to accept that she actually struggles to understand the world around her.
“We walked in silence, the kind that you didn’t feel the need to fill. It was halfway to dark by then, with both a moon and a sun sitting high in a sky that was sugar almond pink and shot with gold. The birds were singing valiantly against the coming night, swooping over the greens in long, drunken loops. The air was grassy, with a hint of flowers and earth, and the warm, sweet outbreath of the day signed gently into our hair and over our skin. I felt like asking Raymond whether we should keep walking, walk over the rolling greens, keep walking till the birds fell silent in their bowers and we could see only by starlight. It almost felt like he might suggest it himself.”
Eleanor was a complete shock to me, she’s absolutely lovely. Throughout the book you’ll laugh, you’ll cringe at her attempts to communicate to different people with her inept social skills, you’ll cry when she starts to break down her amour she’s made around herself to protect her from her past. You’ll fall in love with Eleanor and her ability to change for the better when she finds out what friendship really is, to be truly cared for. I don’t think I will ever forget her.
“He smiled, put down his fork and held up his hand. I realised I was meant to place mine against his in what I now recognized as a ‘high five’.”
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 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.