- Rating: 5 out of 5
- Genre: Fiction
- Subject: Women, Coming of Age, Friendship
Book Review Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
This book will blow you away. Not by grand gestures of splendor but by its soft sweetness. It smoothly surfaces the magic of everyday kindnesses of ordinary people.
The character of Eleanor Oliphant is so clearly conceptualized and so fairly represented you will feel you actually know her in person. Everything about her personality – her levelheadedness, frugality, practicality, and diplomacy in how she conducts her life; it will all completely endear her to you.
You will find the character of Raymond particularly endearing. He is the kind of man that is probably your neighbor or coworker or someone you run into at the supermarket. Nothing extraordinary about him at all! His simple nature and kind personality is far from the heroic stereotypical character but rather that of an ordinary man. And yet his small acts of kindness and subtle friendship enables Eleanor to confront her life problems and overcome them in a way she could never have imagined.
As the story progresses, there is the slow but sure unraveling of the many dark difficulties Eleanor has not only survived but overcome. And she lived to talk of it.
And the ending of this story is something of a modern-day fairytale. Where the damsel in distress pulls up her socks and fixes her own problems. A journey she navigates in her time and on her terms.
How it all comes together
The interactions of all characters in this book are full of unconditional love, quiet camaraderie, mutual respect, and plenty of personal space. The love that Eleanor was sorely missing in her growing years somehow starts to pour towards her from complete strangers!
The impact of people’s small gestures of kindness on Eleanor will make you stop and think about how you interact with the world as well. Is there a sensitive soul out there that is hurting by your thoughtlessness? Or did your small kindness to someone, going through a difficult day, become the one positive thing in her day, pivoting her from despair to strength?
There are parts of this book that made me stop and cry – sometimes for joy and sometimes in sadness. But this bittersweet story has a strong and uplifting message all along. The language is soft and sweet as honey (is it a coincidence that the author’s last name is Honeyman?). Do read it! I promise you, once you start, you won’t be able to put it down.
Buy it on Amazon Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: A Novel