Just perfect. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Gail Honeyman delivered a masterpiece in ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ and it’s quite hard to believe that it is her debut novel. This book made me experience a wide range of emotions and genuinely made me feel happy and sad with Eleanor.
Eleanor has a perfect life and she is completely fine, or so she thinks. She has a finely timed and calculated life which includes catching the same bus for the office, where she has been working for the last nine years, in the same position. Buying the same lunch and a newspaper which she will read cover to cover and finish the crossword puzzle. She listens to some music in the evening and will make some simple pasta for dinner with weekly phone calls with mummy. Her weekends are quite different where she’ll get two bottles of vodka and she’ll stay in this neither drunk nor sober condition till Monday when it is time to go to the office again.
Everything changes when Raymond comes into her life. He is the new IT guy and is interested in Eleanor because of her simplicity and straight forwardness. She shows no interest in her whatsoever Eleanor is busy recreating herself and experiencing new things like bikini wax for the man of her dreams whom she witnessed recently during a concert.
She starts ‘living’ a little where Raymond tries to involve her more into his unhygienic and untethered life. He introduces her to his mother where she experiences what truly motherly love is supposed to be. Raymond is always there for her even when she tries to cut herself off from the world. He helps her to get back on her feet.
Family secrets can hurt and Eleanor knew it for a fact. Facing the truth can be sometimes difficult hence she chose to hide behind a veil of lies that she had knitted for herself over the course of loneliness.
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Book Review of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine:
- An exemplary use of language. I can easily recommend this book to be added in school curriculum. It was one of those rare moments where I savored each and every single word like a fine wine and took my time in reading it.
- The story is from Eleanor’s perspective and the way author made me laugh at some of the situations where one might not laugh in real life.
- Eleanor is shown to have an impeccable grammar and vocabulary and is quite adamant on using proper language which goes to show the author’s deep lexicon and a very good grip on the English language and its way around.
- The entire book was divided into three parts- GOOD DAYS, BAD DAYS and BETTER DAYS. Surprisingly the supposed “GOOD DAYS” were good days according to Eleanor Oliphant where one might pity her for her condition. I found her “BAD DAYS” to be slightly sad in the beginning but it soon turned to be REALLY GOOD DAYS and then ofc “BETTER DAYS”.
- Play with words!
- This story dealt with mental illnesses really well. She experienced trauma when she was 10 years old. She repressed those memories and that resulted in her being this socially awkward person. The author acknowledged the importance of company and harmful effects of loneliness quite well.
- The cover has burnt matchsticks made into house and the revelation to certain traumatic events makes the cover even more meaningful.