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.
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.
I want to start by saying that I loved this story. Read the very first page, the first two paragraphs, and you’ll have everything you need to completely know who the main character, Eleanor is, and the tone of the story. I was instantly captured when I read the first page.
Written in first person, I was given a front row seat to Eleanor’s unfiltered mind, which was too honest to be mad at. I felt the things she thought about people, and basically modern day life, was what many people probably think. Many times her bluntness, her unfiltered mind, would escape her mouth and I found it most humorous when that happened. The author did a great job illustrating people’s reactions and responses to Eleanor’s innocent honesty—I could tell that the author was an avid observer of life, which as a writer is valuable if you want to write an authentic story.
Despite Eleanor’s insensitivity by being too honest, I found her to be likeable and sympathetic, maybe empathetic at times. I think with all the issues Eleanor struggled with, there was something within her issues that many can relate to, everyone—I would dare say, at some point in life. Her struggle with loneliness, self-esteem, relating to people or finding like-minded friends, made me feel her pain. There were several parts in the story, where the author powerfully described the many feelings she faced, using examples, stories, comparisons, and observations. It was very difficult to not feel the way Eleanor was feeling, even if I wasn’t experiencing what she was at the time.
But the shining light of the story is seeing Eleanor’s transformation. As she transformed, I felt challenged to transform as well. Another thing I have to give kudos to the author was the big I didn’t see it coming surprise at the end of the story. I will say, this story had some bits of mystery, especially surrounding her mother and past, but what was revealed at the end, I don’t think anyone could have known. And that’s what I call a good story.
Yes, I would recommend this story to everyone. I think there was so much going on that it will appeal to many and maybe even surprise those who tend to lean towards genre fiction. The story kept moving, the blunt humor was constantly there, and there was an air of mystery to Eleanor’s life that I believe would stir one’s curiosity to see how things end.
4.5 out of 5 stars. Really, why not make it five stars since I probably only said positive things about it? This is my personal preference, but this story did contain some offensive language, although I will not say it was excessive, and I think the story would have still been as powerful without it.