Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine – Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Source: Goodreads

Original Title:  Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
ISBN: 0735220689 (ISBN13: 9780735220683)
Edition Language: English
Rating: 5/5 stars

 
 
This was a pleasurable read. I heard a lot about this book last year and wanted to read it asap. It’s the debut book of Ms. Honeyman and has won several awards including Costa Award for first novel and Audie Award for Fiction
 
The story has a protagonist Eleanor, sorry, Miss Oliphant, as she prefers it, who has had some horrific family trauma as a child. She has bottled up most of the feelings and has managed to survive through life with these memories. In the initial chapters as the author develops the character, one can tell that Eleanor has had a life which she did not live to the fullest. One is left to wonder if she prefers it that way, is that her nature or something else. Subtly in a few chapters with the new character of Raymond Gibbons the story of Miss O. is revealed. She discovers the social rules of being at a party and getting makeover whilst keeping her daily routines. It is very clearly depicted how left out she is from the world when she fails to decipher most of the social conducts. It leaves the reader with a good chuckle because the reasoning of Miss O. is very blunt and naive, which is a part of her isolated nature. She is good at heart, who got a little unlucky with people she had in her life, as a result, she decided to go about life on her own. 
 
She becomes more self-aware and less isolated when she finds the company of Raymond, who is a shabby guy and works in the same office as her. The participation of Raymond in Eleanor’s life increases gradually and Eleanor soon finds herself safe in Raymond’s company. Eleanor, who has struggled with bad relationships and lack of emotional support for the most part of her life, realizes that she has been trying to fix herself but it’s not a one-man job. 
 
Thoughts and believes are inspired by our surroundings and for a person who doesn’t socialize much most of the believes are shaped by the past or limited interaction one has with the outside world. With Eleanor, this gets very clear as she gets clarity of thoughts with therapy and starts developing her own beliefs instead of following her mom’s. 
 
I found Eleanor’s character really fascinating because she speaks her mind, she is rational most of the time and does things according to her own set of beliefs but learns to mold them with new information. 
 
This novel may come across as heartbreaking to some readers, it, however, ends on an optimistic note where Eleanor is learning how to fit in, and how to reach out.
 
 

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