May 1, 2018

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
2017 Penguin Audio
Read by Cathleen McCarron
Finished on October 17, 2017
Rating: 4.5/5 (Very Good)

Publisher's Blurb:

No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.

But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .

The only way to survive is to open your heart.

This is a wonderful book and the reader (Cathleen McCarron) is excellent. She brought Eleanor to life with her precise articulation and I found I missed Eleanor (and Raymond) long after the final page was read. I laughed out loud several times as I listened while walking through my neighborhood. (I was actually worried that someone might hear me and not see that I was listening to something and think I was going a bit batty.) Eleanor's story of her lonely existence as a misfit is tender without being sentimental or saccharine. I found my heartstrings tugged and may have even shed a tear or two when the book reached its conclusion. I knocked my rating down a bit due to the slow beginning and the twist that was revealed toward the end that I figured out early on. Other than those minor quibbles, I loved this book. I'm not very good about re-reading books, but this is one I'd like to read in print now that I've listened to the audio. I sure hope the film lives up to my expectations!


  1. Someone ruined the end of this while I was reading it but I still loved it too.

    1. Kathy, it was still very good in spite of the big reveal.

  2. This sounds charming. I think I need a break from my psychological thrillers and this could be just the book!

    1. Iliana, it's charming, but not too light & fluffy.

  3. I loved how real Eleanor seemed. Often, characters have a few flaws thrown in to balance out their other amazing qualities, but Eleanor was genuinely and deeply flawed. The author was brave to put her out there, I thought.

    1. Deb, I think that's what I loved about the book, too. Eleanor really did come to life on the pages. She is certainly a memorable character.


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