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  • Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine review

I can not put into words how much I loved this book. Every chapter it got better and better, I was more hooked every page I read.

The story opens instantly with an introduction of Eleanor. Her character Is summed up on the first page and I was almost instantaneously enjoying the read. The character of Eleanor is portrayed as an organised, ordered woman who lives by her routines. She works in an office and calls her horrible, sole destroying mother who is extremely and constantly disappointed with her every Wednesday to update her on her latest ‘projects’ and news (one of which is stalking a rock star who she is adamant is the love of her life).

After an old man collapses on the roadside who she rescues with her fellow co-worker, she starts to intercact and make bonds with other people. Eleanor is a very practical woman and as the reader you work her personality and her life story out the longer it goes on. Eleanor keeps herself to herself and enjoys it that way, so exposing anything about her or about her life is a huge challenge therefore her story is a complete mystery, and is also incredibly unpredictable.

The book is often funny with the way Eleanor describes, calls or does things. She is an odd woman who looks at the world a little differently from anyone else, but I think looking at it from her point of view was incredibly eye opening. This created the novel to be extremely deep and interesting, with also many laugh out loud parts.

When Eleanor gets herself into the darkest of times after realising planning every second of her life may not be successful, she finds her self in an awful time and as the reader, this was shocking to read. I thought this change in emotion and situation was very sudden, which at first I wasn’t that keen on: the sudden switch of mood, however I later realised that this sudden opposition of situation mirrored the instantaneously of reality and how quickly it can happen. It can come gradually too, but it proved that it can literally be like a slap in the face. The book portrayed so brilliantly was the feeling of failure in life and how powerful that can be.

The character of Eleanor wasn’t always shown in the actual words, but in fact how the words were written. This was incredibly clever and successfully showed her emotions and personality. A huge theme of this book is loneliness and this was concluded so well by the way it was written and it was incredibly touching to the point where you felt you really were looking in to someone’s thoughts and you grew to route for Eleanor every page.

Her past was a secretive subject that she would refuse to talk about and as she began to let people into her life, the secrets were slowly discarded and as a reader you found out more and more about her as the book went on. I thought this was incredibly clever because by being in first person, you could dramatically see her denial of admitting and referring to her childhood, which exaggerated her fear of it.

The book is probably the most unpredictable book I have ever read and will be both amazed and impressed if anyone is expecting the secrets of both her childhood and her adulthood alike. The fact you see her normalise her life style is another way which you see more about her and her personality. There were also incredible teaching and knowledge in this book which I think everyone should know. Eleanor, as a character was a very wise and knowledgeable person and her advice to herself during the book was both funny at times, and incredibly wise!

At first, I thought this book was a very easy and sweet read to enjoy with a nice cup of tea. In fact, the more and more you read it, it is not only that, but also incredibly dark at times but this creates it to be even more poignant and touching. It grew more and more meaningful and I enjoyed it more and more every page I turned which I thought was such a clever effect. When I finished it I decided it was the MOST meaningfull, deep and touching book I have EVER read. It was one of those reads which I wanted to finish – to find out the secrets and carry on thoroughly enjoying it, but I also didn’t want to finish it because it was so amazingly written and every word came across in such a perfect place, at a perfect time, and written in a perfect way.

Overall, the book is one that I think will be a classic. It is deeply moving and I recommend it to EVERYONE, all ages from twelve and above. It is something which I think everyone should read and honestly, I have never read a book quite like it. It is so unique, meaningful, funny, dark and uplifting all at the same time.


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