Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"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 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"--
Publisher: New York, New York : Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, [2017]
ISBN: 9780735220683
0735220689
9780735224193
0735224196
Branch Call Number: Honeyman, G
HONEYMAN G
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 24 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Eleanor Oliphant is extremely quirky and troubled but she has convinced herself she is fine with her dull job, her solitude and her totally regimented life. Then an incident occurs with far reaching implications. Can she deal with a mysterious past and change her present and possibly her future?... Read More »

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.


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s
sgcf
Oct 19, 2019

I spent all my spare time reading this book. I was enthralled. Honeyman is an exceptional writer, seeping out bits of information in a nonchalant way, indirectly, not through in-your-face explanation. Her characterization of Eleanor’s very scholarly way of speaking is funny. Yet the subject matter of Eleanor’s psychological damage and the eventual revelation of the truth is shattering. The book runs the entire emotional gamut.
There is so much food for thought in this book – psychosis, the nature of love, loss, social isolation, memory suppression, human kindness, and so much more. Quite profound. "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" is a fascinating journey of how Eleanor’s definition of “fine” evolves.

c
celiawhite99
Oct 13, 2019

Great book that shows how counseling can save lives

d
DorisWaggoner
Oct 13, 2019

In her late 20s, Eleanor Oliphant is definitely not fine. Her classics degree fits her for an office job, where she's a lonely outsider. She feels superior because her grammar and vocabulary are better than anybody else's. The women she works with are interested only in gossip, clothes, and men. Eleanor reads serious literature, and on weekends buys 2 bottles of vodka to get her through until she can get back to her desk and accounts receivable She speaks impeccable proper English, dresses in comfortable if not fashionable clothing in a dirty apartment she's lived in for decades, since she'd graduated from state care. She tries not to think about the scars on her face from arson when she was 10. She has no friends, but one day she and a co-worker, Raymond, who she'd learned to know when she had to call on him for his assistance in his specialty—computers. He's sloppy, always late, and pays no attention to her suggestions that his chain smoking's bad for his health—and hers. One day they see an elderly man across the street fall, and by the time they get to him, he's unconscious. Raymond tries to get her to call 999 for help, but she had no cell phone, so he tells her to talk to Sammy while he calls the authorities. Raymond goes with Sammy in the ambulance, and she calls the old man's family. This is the beginning of a new life for all 3, as they become friends. Friends! Eventually she realizes she's depressed, and get sinto therapy, thanks to Raymond, when Sammy dies. Mostly she's silent, but eventually begins to cry, then to talk. Finally she tells Maria that she fells guilty because she couldn't save Marianne, who was her sister, age 4, locked in a wardrobe by their mother. Maria reminded her she couldn't save both children, given their ages. Raymond and she both looked up online to find out what had really happened. Two people died—their mother, and Marianne. Eleanor was the only survivor, and felt very guilty. And every Wed. night her mother called her, telling her how worthless and useless and clumsy she was. This was the only part I didn't understand. If her mother died, who was calling Eleanor weekly? Was it one of the bad foster mothers? If not, who? Even Maria, let alone Raymond, agreed she was right to tell her Mummy to buzz off, and that she wouldn't answer the phone ever again. But that bit still bothers me. Otherwise, a lovely book showing growth and development, and a probable heading toward Raymond and Eleanor moving in together eventually and being able to be happy together. But who was her “Mummy?” Her sense of guilt? Her need to forgive herself for not saving Marianne?

m
msgracie
Oct 10, 2019

Finally had a chance to read this. I wanted to like it more. The author did a good job at telling a story about the everyday struggles of life for someone who is mentally ill. A lot of reviews state how funny this story is. I did not find one single solitary thing funny. I'm glad for the opportunity to see what all the hype was about. I will probably like the movie better-which I read somewhere is happening in the near future.

n
nanasarah
Oct 06, 2019

Very enjoyable. Very funny. A book about overcoming a bad childhood.

k
kellydelancy
Sep 28, 2019

ok

v
vkreads
Sep 28, 2019

Getting into this novel takes a bit of reading. The author's style is smooth, thoughtful, rich. But we are not automatically embracing the voice of the character, Eleanor.

We know from the onset that Eleanor is an idiosyncratic cluster of behaviors. We begin to feel the isolation of her daily life because of the raw details of her first person narrative.
Eleanor is very alone, isolated, like many single women, living lives of work, and not much else. But. Who cares?
Eleanor teaches us ... Emotional Trauma is a deeply embedded network of memories, results, shortcomings, limitations, fears. Words cannot always easily explain the scars of trauma.

If this book teaches one lesson to a reader, it might be to learn to, to want to, open our eyes and our hearts to those around us who have lived through, but still feel, the repercussions of familial trauma. We can make a difference to that person. And who do we know who is alone? Raymond was a patient example of kindness in action.

There are quite a few funny lines tucked into the narrative. Refreshing.

n
nancyau12
Sep 19, 2019

Female version of A Man Called Ove. I loved this book!

h
h21488687
Sep 04, 2019

This is one of those books where you're torn between rushing to find out what happens to the characters, yet also wanting to read slowly because you don't want it to end. It's been quite a while since I've enjoyed a book so much.

o
OP_2
Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / March 2019

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finfry
Oct 29, 2018

pg 300 .... was wearing a strange, oversized woolen hat that I hadn't seen before. It looked like the kind of hat that a German goblin might wear in an illustration from a nineteenth-century fairy tale, possibly one about a baker who was unkind to children and got his comeuppance via an elfin horde, ......

c
cknightkc
Dec 10, 2017

“There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely, and I’d lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock. The threads tighten slightly from Monday to Friday.”

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cknightkc
Dec 10, 2017

“All the studies show that people tend to take a partner who is roughly as attractive as they are; like attracts like, that is the norm.”

b
behere
Nov 27, 2017

p 134: Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that there's something very liberating about it; once you realize that you don't need anyone, you can take care of yourself.

cals_readers Sep 21, 2017

These days, lonliness is the new cancer -- a shameful, embarassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way.

cals_readers Sep 21, 2017

O know, I know how ridiculous this is, how pathetic; but on some days, the very darkest days, knowing that the plant would die if I didn't water it was the only thing that forced me up out of bed.

cals_readers Sep 21, 2017

It's both good and bad, how humans can learn to tolerate pretty much anything, if they have to.

cals_readers Sep 21, 2017

I did not own any Tupperware. I could go to a department store to purchase some. That seemed to be the sort of thing that a woman of my age and social circumstances might do. Exciting!

cals_readers Sep 21, 2017

You can't have too much dog in a book.

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Mya614
Oct 15, 2018

Mya614 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Summary

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SPL_Brittany Nov 05, 2017

Meet Eleanor Oliphant. A socially awkward 29-year old who works in the finance department as a clerk in a small graphics firm in Scotland. She is literal to a fault and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. She is completely unfazed by office gossip, and takes comfort in avoiding social interactions. Eleanor lives alone and spends her weekends eating frozen pizza, drinking vodka and making calls to Mummy. According to Eleanor, she is completely fine, thank you very much!

Except maybe she isn’t.

Everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond the new IT guy. Together they come to the aid of Sammy – an older man who they witness collapse in the street. The three become friends who rescue one another from the isolation each of them has been living. With the help of the two men, Eleanor begins to experience her world for the first time with a fresh perspective, and she slowly begins to come out of her shell as they help her to confront the terrible secrets of her past that she has fastidiously kept hidden away.

Debut author Gail Honeyman writes a heartwarming, funny and poignant novel that despite its light-hearted tone does not shy away from its more serious issues. It is a story written with depth, originality and well-developed characters. Readers will enjoy getting to know and rooting for Eleanor, as she navigates a world that was once familiar to her, which has become entirely new. This novel is perfect for those who’ve previously enjoyed titles such as “The Rosie Project” and “A Man Called Ove”.

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