Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

The Book Club - March 2019 Pick

Author: Gail Honeyman

Page Count: 327

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The Plot

Socially awkward Eleanor Oliphant is a recluse. She is deadpan with a knack for avoiding human interaction. Beneath the surface she struggles with depression and a tragic upbringing. When her life collides with Raymond, things begin to change.


Book Quote

"People don’t like these facts, but I can’t help that. If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.."


Characters

Eleanor Oliphant is a quirky but lovable character filled with turmoil and a terrible lack of social skills. Her deadpan statements often make your mouth drop open before a belly full of laughter spills out. At other times, your heart simply breaks for her.

Raymond isn't a sexy knight in shining armor. He's an average, if not equally awkward character that grows on you. His compassion for Eleanor gradually transforms him into a hero.


Also notable is the helpful sales clerk and Eleanor's mother. Both changing and shaping who Eleanor is and becomes.


Pacing

Get cozy and relaxed. This isn't a quick read but it is worth the wait. Some parts slow down but are followed with a ferocious insight into Eleanor's psyche propelling the story forward at a faster pace.


Style

Written in a similar tone as Where'd You Go Bernadette but with a much less complex narrative. You won't get lost in the timeline but you will get swept away with the backstory and how it is woven in with a very good, very well hidden twist.