“Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” Review


Each year, I make New Year’s resolutions, as many do, and each year, I almost always have one goal on my list that I never quite seem to achieve: to read more.

This year, I decided it would be the year I prioritized reading. I downloaded GoodReads, made an account, and followed all of my favorite influencers that had the app in an attempt to romanticize my new hobby. After scavenging the virtual book-logging app, I chose “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman as my first read of the year. 

Eleanor’s life is built on routine. She does the crossword at lunch every day for her office job. She has ten-minute calls with Mummy on Wednesdays. Once the weekend comes, she treats herself to pizza and vodka. Her life is, as the title suggests, fine. Eleanor spent much time with other people, but as Eleanor put it, “you can’t miss something you never had.” Generally, she is quite puzzled by others’ behavior; At times, she believes she is the only normal person in the world, despite being the subject of her coworkers’ jokes. It is the moments of internal dialogue and awkward conversations that make this book so funny and charming. Eleanor’s complete disregard for the opinions of others leaves an unfiltered, hilarious read.

It is not until Eleanor and her newly acquainted coworker, Raymond, rescue an old man on the street that the story truly starts to develop. Raymond is caring, family-oriented and selfless— qualities that he teaches Eleanor throughout the book. I can honestly say that I’ve never read such perfectly calculated development of a genuine friendship. Eleanor slowly opens up to Raymond as the book progresses, something she’s never done to anyone before. Complex, dark issues are revealed, but it is only until the end that the reader gets Eleanor’s full story, a genius strategy of Honeyman to keep her audience reading.

“Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” has easily made it in my top ten list of books. There are moments of pure comedy and moments of heart-wrenching tragedy. This book will make you feel something. If “read more” was one of your goals for the New Year, look no further.