Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine 

Gail Honeyman

Book review


Eleanor Oliphant is in her late twenties. She leads a simple life. She has a routine time-tabled existence, where she wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same lunch every day, and buys two bottles of vodka every weekend.

She lives alone and is happy alone. She doesn’t have any friends, never goes to any social events, and never tries anything new. This is all until someone catches her eye. She has never felt this way before and she now dares to try new things in hopes to please this person. But is this person, “the one” for her?

How does Eleanor come out of her shell? How does she now deal with new possibilities? Is Eleanor Oliphant completely fine?

“Some people, weak people, fear solitude. What they fail to understand is that you don’t need anyone, you can take care of yourself.”

– Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.

I picked this book randomly in a bookstore because of its bright cover. When I read the title and the blurb, I couldn’t stop myself from purchasing it. I wanted to know what the hidden meaning is behind the title. I wanted to know what is going on inside her perfectly seeming life. And also I wanted to know the meaning behind the cover. I think they nailed all the three important aspects that would make a reader pick a book. That is a good marketing technique.

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Story-wise, it is fresh. The story progresses slowly which is understandable since she does have a routine life.

I have mixed feelings when it comes to the protagonist, Eleanor.

“I find lateness exceptionally rude; it’s so disrespectful, implying unambiguously that you consider yourself and your own time to be so much more valuable than the other person’s.”

– Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.

To give her a little introduction, she is a social misfit, keeps to herself or rather – minds her own business. To others, she might seem like a loner, but she feels content being alone. Not all the time though. She has a traumatic past that unfolds fully only in the latter half of the book.


Most of the time, she comes off as a rational person, whose opinions on many things actually feel right and that it is the society that is absurd. Eleanor Oliphant is an observer. She observes everything around her and questions the way society has been taught to believe what the standard for being “normal” actually is. For example, she says that when people get their hair and makeup done, they are suddenly seen as socially outgoing people in the eyes of society.


She admits to talking to herself or talking to a potted plant well aware that she wouldn’t get any response. She is a lonely person who is sometimes tired of the silence around her.


“Time only blunts the pain of loss. It doesn’t erase it.”

– Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.



I agree with her almost all the time. She asks questions that do make a lot of sense.


Now, to the part where I questioned her actions. Eleanor Oliphant once says, “I know that life is not that simple. Not everything works that way. I know it better than anyone.” A person with this mindset somehow felt that a guy whom she had never met would immediately fall for her at the first sight? That did not sit right with me. She was being completely delusional, being a borderline stalker. (*spoiler alert*) She finds out where the guy lives and goes there, showing characteristics of a stalker. I did not like that part, it was low-key creepy.


“There are scars on my heart, just as thick, as disfiguring as those on my face. I know they’re there. I hope some undamaged tissue remains, a patch through which love can come in and flow out. I hope.”

– Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.

Now back again to the good part – I loved her character growth. I loved how small steps led her to be more open-minded, and more accepting of people she once judged. There was this part where she gets a cat. She buries her face in the cat’s fur with love. I was thinking of how the old Eleanor wouldn’t have done that and instead would have ranted how unhygienic it is.


Almost at the end of the book, there is a part when she actually realizes how judging she had been all her life. It is nice to see good character growth.


What I also loved is the character Raymond. He was introduced by Eleanor to the readers as this man from IT with a belly, unshaven face, and unkempt hair. It was a bad impression from the start but just like Eleanor, the readers would have grown fond of him too.


She was becoming more social and more outgoing.


The twist at the end was totally unforeseen. This book made me pity Eleanor, root for her, and then finally be happy for her.


No one is completely fine and that’s totally alright. This book shows how a little kindness can help a person so much. The world can sometimes be cruel and being kind would probably make someone’s day.


“In the end, what matters is this: I survived.”

– Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine.


I would rate this book a 4.8 on 5

You can get your copy here: https://www.amazon.in/Eleanor-Oliphant-Completely-Fine-Honeyman/dp/0008258252/ref=sr_1_1?crid=LL5HKRG6LNC6&dchild=1&keywords=eleanor+oliphant+is+completely+fine&qid=1619365172&sprefix=eleanor+oliphant+%2Caps%2C297&sr=8-1

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