Book Review: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

A colleague recommended this book and I had already seen it reviewed by a couple people I follow on Goodreads. It seemed like the perfect book to take with me on a short trip I had, so I got a copy on Kindle.

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than. . . fine? 

The book description didn’t prepare me for the beautiful story I had ahead of me and the amazing characters I would come to know. I think Eleanor is everything a heroine should be: brave, beautiful and humble. I don’t think I know a character that has had a more difficult past, but Eleanor still comes through and overcomes. But this is not a fairy tale, Eleanor is an everyday character and has to cope with life in 2017 while having more on her shoulders.

*spoilers ahead*

Raymond becomes her friend almost by accident and I loved how he is a representation of a true friendship, which is hard to find late in your twenties or early thirties, like Eleanor is. It was incredible how he didn’t become a romantic partner, but he stayed a faithful friend, because Eleanor does not need a romantic partner right now, she needs to know she is not alone in the world by finding strong relationships that will help her grow.

Eleanor had the misfortune of having a maniac for a mother who made her childhood a difficult one, and with this, a difficult adulthood as well. But she had decided not to give up and try to live a life where she had control. This is until she gets a crush on a musician and her whole life changes as the bubble where she tries to hide, bursts.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a beautiful and refreshing story where everyday characters can overcome great difficulties.

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