Hello fellow bookworms! I’ve really been slacking on reviews lately (and blog posts in general!) and I feel like I say this at the beginning of every post I’ve written recently… However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell you my feelings towards the critically acclaimed Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s a book that is everywhere at the moment, and probably hasn’t escaped the grasp of many book lovers across the globe, and after reading, I can absolutely understand why this book has been so incredibly successful! Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:
About The Book
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
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?
Genre? Literary Fiction
Setting? Scotland, UK
Predictable? From the very beginning, Honeyman starts to set up for a twist in the plot line, but what I predicted wasn’t even close to what actually happened! While some smaller points were more predictable, Eleanor as a character is used to such a rigid daily routine that anything she does which is out of the ordinary for her is unpredictable.
Plot Pace? Due to the writing style, the pace was both steady and fast at the same time. It mirrored Eleanor’s feelings and emotions towards her day, being a bit more pedestrian when her life was normal, but speeding up when things started to get exciting, especially when Honeyman slipped something interesting into a seemingly normal scene.
Favourite Character and why? This is a complex book with very well developed and complex characters. Eleanor was quite relatable in many ways, and I think a lot of people who read this book will think that, because there are so many pieces to her personality. I adored Raymond as a character who developed slowly over the course of the book as Eleanor accepted him into her life more and more.
Least Favourite Character and why? While the main characters were intensely recognised in the story, there were only a few of them, and the majority of them were extremely likeable. I have to make a point that Mummy’s character shocked me, and I was deeply horrified at some of the things she says and the way she says them. There’s a lot of history with her character and the relationship she has with Eleanor as well which made me dislike her even more.
Did you guess the story? Absolutely not! There were so many small parts that were obvious when it came to reading them, but if I was asked what I thought would happen when I started reading, it wouldn’t have been that! Honeyman managed to draw the story out right until the very end of the book which was very skilfully done.
Favourite part of the book? When Eleanor and Raymond visit Sammy, I had no idea what his reaction would be, so it was such a warming and happy scene the way it turned out. There were some hilarious scenes, in particular when Eleanor goes shopping, gets her make up and nails done, etc. which were quite uplifting.
Least favourite part of the book? Moving into the Bad Days section of the book, without giving too much away, was written so well I felt I was in Eleanor’s character, which was quite depressing and disheartening, especially when we had such a great first part during Good Days.
Well written? Absolutely! I can’t remember the last time I read a book with such depth in the story line and characterisation. The writing itself wasn’t complex in terms of vocabulary, but the way the sentences, paragraphs, and chapters were formed made the book move easily yet slightly uncomfortably, reflecting the nature of Eleanor’s character.
Emotional? Yes! I experienced I every emotion possibly reading this book, through awkwardness, embarrassment, happiness, sadness, and hysterics on both ends of the spectrum!
I will happily sing this books praises everywhere I go, and highly recommend to all for true insight into loneliness and the heartfelt meaning of friendship and kindness. A raw, emotional, and heartbreaking read.
My Rating: 5 Muffins out of 5
Where To Buy
If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):
Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)