Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fineby Published 09 May 2017
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Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive - but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal 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 life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted - while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she's avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than. . . fine?
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine Reviews
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ALL THE STARS !!!
I won an advanced copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you!
To be honest, I'm not sure if this book would have been on my radar if I hadn't won it. Although the great reviews may have pulled me in. At any rate, I am so happy I read it.
I LOVED THIS BOOK !!
Just like it says in the title of the book, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine....well she thinks she is. She is honestly not worried that she may be missing out on anything. She is content with her life.
Eleanor is a little bit....odd. She's very intelligent and well-spoken with impeccable grammar (thanks to Mummy) but she lacks the ability to filter what she says and therefore she will tell you exactly what she's thinking. This can lead to very awkward situations.
Eleanor is comfortable with her routines. She's worked at the same job for nine years. She starts work at 8:30, at lunch she buys a newspaper which she reads from cover to cover and then does the crossword. She finishes out her day, leaving work at 5:30. Eleanor listens to the Archers as she makes a simple dinner (usually pasta and salad - one pan one plate), watches TV or reads for a little while then off to bed at ten. Her weekday routine only changes on Wednesday when she talks with "Mummy" for ten minutes.
Weekends are a bit different. After work Friday she picks up pizza, wine and two big bottles of Vodka for the weekend. She drinks the vodka over the weekend.....in a state where she's neither drunk nor sober, waiting for Monday to come. No one comes over and she doesn't go anywhere to visit. She sometimes wonders if she's a figment of her own imagination.
But she's fine with it. She's fine. There's nothing missing, she doesn't need anyone else. Well that was what she told herself. But then it happens...
"He was light and heat. He blazed. Everything he came into contact with would be changed. I sat forward on my seat, edged closer. At last. I found him"
Now Eleanor is on a mission. First she decides a make-over is in order....and where she starts is both shocking and hilarious. I really want to write about what happened but I think I would spoil a very funny moment for many readers.
Things don't go exactly as planned.
When her computer at work stops working she meets Raymond from IT. An easy-going guy, Raymond is intrigued by Eleanor, but she's just not interested. She's busy trying to re-create herself for the man of her dreams. But after work one day Eleanor and Raymond come across a man who has fallen on the sidewalk. Together they help the man, Sammy and so begins a friendship along with the start of many changes in Eleanor's life.
The story is told from Eleanor's point of view. We go along for the ride as she navigates her way through her life, learning to stand up for herself. But it won't be easy. Secrets and memories that have been tucked away for many years can be painful to remember.
When you have trouble with social skills I can see how it would be easier to refrain from situations where things could go wrong so fast..... It would be easier being alone. As I mentioned there are many funny moments throughout the book. I really like how the author wrote these parts. I never felt like I was laughing AT Eleanor but at the things she said or the situations she ended up in. However, there are also many sad and painful moments. Times where I felt terrible for Eleanor.
Some of the funniest parts came out of nowhere - the phone doesn't ring often but if telemarketers call Eleanor whispers "I know where you live" and hangs up. Often it was what she would be saying to herself that was funny.
An incredible read that had me bouncing from one emotion to the next. The author did a tremendous job bringing these wonderfully unique characters to life.
It's hard to believe this is the author's debut novel.
There are so many words that can be used to describe this novel - hilarious , unique, heartwarming, heartbreaking, charming, hopeful, inspiring, and COMPLETELY unforgettable.
“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” but after finishing this novel, I am not.
I was completely unprepared for the life of Eleanor Oliphant and that of her ‘Mummy.” To be frank, I was ill-equipped to deal with it, much like Eleanor. And it wrecked me.
At thirty years-old, Eleanor Oliphant is alone in this world. She always has been, actually. In and out of foster care since she was a little girl, she has never been touched by anyone in a loving way and doesn’t even know what that would feel like, but that’s ok. All of her physical needs are met, you see and she has never had any emotional needs.
Seeing as she doesn’t have any friends, Eleanor is quiet and socially awkward. Everyone thinks she is fairly strange, if you must to know. Not that she minds since people’s behavior makes absolutely no sense to her. She is good at being alone and she does not feel sorry for herself. Not even when ‘Mummy’ calls and viciously tells her daughter off and berates her for being being “naughty.” Eleanor, however wears a coat of armor and does her best to let her mother’s words bounce off of her.
Eleanor has no aspirations though she has done accounting at an office for the last 9 years. Every day of her life is the same and she would be nothing without routine. One night, all of that changes rather abruptly. After work, she and a coworker named Raymond whom she just met and who happens to be leaving the office at the same time as her, find themselves in the exact right place at the right time. Both Eleanor and Raymond see a man (named Samuel), go down on the sidewalk and they go have a look see and discover that he needs an ambulance. This incident ends up tying the three together and becomes one of the most significant in Eleanor Oliphant’s life. It forges a bond of friendship between them, which is something Eleanor has never experienced before in all her thirty years.
During this time, Eleanor also ends up finding him. The man she has been waiting for all of her life. The man she is meant to be with. Now she just has to get him to notice her. In trying to do so, Eleanor grows bolder and more confident. She also learns to lean on and open herself up to her new friends.
Throughout the book, Eleanor slowly experiences a metamorphosis, one that often makes you smile, laugh and of course, cry. She is damaged and quirky but oh so special. I loved her dearly. For more reasons than one. I identified with Eleanor Oliphant you see, and for that, I was unprepared. I did say that this book wrecked me right?! I get why Eleanor is Completely Fine. She had no choice. Unfortunately, Eleanor’s ‘Mummy’ is someone I recognized fairly well. When I heard her voice (in a Scottish accent) on the audiobook, and the way she spoke to her daughter, my chest got tight and my throat closed up and I sobbed. Unlike Eleanor's “Mummy” however, mine happens to be British instead of Scottish - though the accents are close, thus I therefore guess that listening to the audiobook had an even more profound effect on me. I’ve had similar conversations, in case it wasn’t obvious and I felt Eleanor’s pain more deeply as it related to her ‘Mummy’, for at certain times in my life, it mirrored my own. All that aside however, Eleanor does not go quietly into the dark goodnight (and neither did I, for what it’s worth).
Though it affected me greatly, “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” is without a doubt one of the most incredible, profound, and beautifully well written novels I have absorbed in ages. It wrecked me in the best and worst ways possible. In case it’s not obvious, it will stay with me for a long time. I think I came across it on purpose as both Eleanor Oliphant and I needed something from it and I think we were both lucky enough to receive it.
Published on Goodreads and Amazon on 6.26.17.
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the heroines of literature that I am sure I will remember always. She is brilliant, yet socially awkward. At the age of 10 she experienced a trauma that she never received any help with to sort through it. So, she repressed her memories and more importantly, she repressed her emotions. By the age of 30, she was so good at repression that it completely froze parts of her being and the underlying, unacknowledged fear of any of her repressions getting out were the root cause of her lack of social skills.
When dealing with intellectual matters, she is formidable; her vocabulary and the facts at her fingertips are beyond many people’s comprehension. Yet even as she grew and matured, some parts of her remained in the stunted, closed-in world of her 10-year-old self.
Despite everything she had experienced, with both physical scars and those on her psyche, not once does Eleanor feel self-pity or get caught up in, “I am a victim”. She simply does not see herself that way and it is one of the reasons I admire her as a character to be honoured and respected.
At her workplace, she meets the new IT guy Raymond, and her critique of him is definitely offhand and dismissive. Although they do eventually become friends, Eleanor has her sights set on someone else – far more glamourous, exciting, and sophisticated.
When her world takes a nose dive, she is wise enough to know it is because of her own poor decisions based on influences from her past, and she takes brave measures to turn her life around with help from her friend Raymond. Her long and slow recovery is a testament to the human soul’s willingness to strive and thrive against all odds.
I found this book to be a compelling read, funny in places, deadly serious in other places, but always, always buoyed by Eleanor’s determination and resilience. It was rewarding to watch her friendship with Raymond grow, and his support of her is inspiring.
I loved this book; it is yet another amazing debut novel by an author I hope to read more of in the future. This one is going straight to my Favourites shelf, and I know that if ever I need inspiration, all I need do is think about Eleanor Oliphant!
Eleanor Oliphant lives a fairly secluded life due to her lack of social graces and crippling self esteem and anxiety issues. She works at a graphic design firm in the finance department and spends the rest of her time at home, usually drinking. Her social life consists of a phone call with her mummy every week. Then one day she goes to a concert, for which she won tickets in a raffle, and falls in love at first sight with a musician. Eleanor decides to make some changes to herself as part of a plan to get her dream man. Meanwhile a new hire in the IT department of her company, Raymond, strikes up a friendship with Eleanor. As things change for Eleanor she is forced to confront the past and confront the real reason for her recent desire for more.
I really enjoyed this, oh man Eleanor is so quirky and endearing. Her inner monologue was excellent and I could really relate to her. I had an especially visceral reaction when [spoilers removed] because come on who hasn't had a moment like that. I've had my fair share of moments when I try really hard and then just feel embarrassed and stupid about everything I've done. Eleanor just felt so real and human. The only thing that annoyed me was the ending when [spoilers removed] because it felt unnecessary and I didn't think we needed a plot twist like it kind of ruined all her conversations with her mom for me a little bit. Everything else was really great though, definitely 4.5 stars.
4.5! What an incredible story!
“These days, loneliness is the new cancer - a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted.”
Eleanor’s story hit me so much harder than I expected it to. She is thirty years old, has worked at the same job since she left university, speaks on the phone to mummy once a week and drinks two litres of vodka every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is fine.
One day, Eleanor and a colleague help assist an elderly man who’d fallen over on the street. From there we follow Eleanor and Raymond’s budding friendship, and we realise just how ‘not fine’ Eleanor truly is.
“I’d tried so hard, but something about me just didn’t fit. There was, it seemed, no Eleanor-shaped social hole for me to slot into.”
Eleanor is painfully relatable, her awkwardness at social encounters, reliance on alcohol and the burying of all feelings and past grievances, is something I feel on a personal level. It’s as if her story came to me at just the right time in my life. It was heartbreaking, honest and powerful.
“I was thirty years old, I realised, and I had never walked hand in hand with anyone. No one had ever rubbed my tired shoulders, or stroked my face.”
All of us have felt alone at some point in our lives, Eleanor’s story serves as a reminder that we are a lot more alike than we realise. A bit of kindness can go such a long way, friendship can truly be life saving.