Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine - (short) Book Review
ORIGINAL TITLE: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
AUTHOR: GAIL HONEYMAN
EDITION LANGUAGE: ROMANIAN
PUBLISHER: RAO, 2017 (FIRST PUBLISHED 2017)
HARDCOVER, 352 PAGES
“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.”
Gail Honeyman’s debut novel, “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine”, is the heartwarming and heartbreaking story of Eleanor Oliphant, a troubled adult woman who works, what others would call, a boring 9 to 5 job and lives a lonely life, following a strict routine during the week, with her weekends consisting of pizza, plenty of Vodka, and not leaving the house. Not ever. Quiet and socially inept, she’s oblivious to many things that are happening to her, unaware of her emotional needs and even of the fact that she is not actually fine.
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But not all is lost for Eleanor. Things start to change when her new coworker, the IT guy Raymond, steps into the story. P.S.: it’s not what you think. This is not a love story!
Through Eleanor’s quirky voice, the book tackles subjects such as loneliness, depression, childhood trauma and abuse and everything that stems from it, in a humorous way, but not too light or superficial.
I liked how the novel brings into discussion things we don’t usually talk about. Like how lonely it can get to live in today’s modern society. Or the scars an abusive parent can leave on one’s mind and sense of self even after years and years have passed since the abuse. And how, sometimes, in order to get better we need help from outside. And that’s OK. Not all change can come 100% from within.
Now this is not a perfect book (what is a perfect book anyway?), it has its flaws and technically some things could’ve been executed better, but the power of this novel stands in Eleanor’s memorable character and the relationship she develops with Raymond.
Eleanor made me fall in love with her and I couldn’t be happier that I read this book, even with all its imperfections and the plot twist at the end that I felt was not necessary.
Lessons learned from this book:
- Accept help when you need it;
- Be like Raymond;
- Pay attention and be more accepting;
- Be kind.