I enjoy quirky characters and the main character in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is kind of an odd duck. She isn’t good at socializing, she doesn’t understand why people do certain things, she doesn’t have a filter and says what she is thinking and she enjoys a very strict schedule. It kind of discombobulates her when her schedule is disrupted. Eleanor eats the same thing every day, she wears the same closes and always drinks a bottle of Vodka over the weekend. Her co-workers think she is strange, people tend to look at her and dismiss her.
Raymond (the IT guy at work) enters her life when he works on her computer. As they are both leaving work at the same time, an older man, Sam, collapses on the sidewalk near them. Eleanor doesn’t want to get involved as it will mess up her schedule, but Raymond drags her into helping Sam. This encounter soon pulls Eleanor and Raymond into an unlikely friendship that slowly disrupts her regular schedule.
At first I thought Eleanor, who is almost 30, might be on the autism spectrum then I thought maybe she was raised without much social interaction. But then you slowly learn what happened to Eleanor to make her the way she is. I really felt for Eleanor and loved her simplicity and growth along the way. The characters were very interesting and likable. I cared for all of them. I think it will also help some people understand what others go through when a tragedy changes their lives at a young age.
There were sad parts that pulled at my heart and other times the story made me smile and laugh. This is probably one of my favorite books in 2017. I hope that everyone takes the time to get to know Eleanor.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully time-tabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
Then 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.
Until next time…enjoy the view from your passenger seat