Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Originality ♥♥♥♥
Quality of Writing ♥♥♥♥♥
Plot ♥♥♥♥♥
Setting ♥♥♥♥
Character ♥♥♥♥♥
Overall ♥♥♥♥♥

“I have been waiting for death all my life. I do not mean that I actively wish to die, just that I do not really want to be alive. Something had shifted now, and I realised that I didn’t need to wait for death. I didn’t want to.”

The quote above beautifully, but painfully paints the life of our main character, Ms Eleanor Oliphant – written to the point, but with a deep, sorrowful undertow, this whole book, whilst at times depressing, has touched me in ways I have not encountered by a book before. Reading this book has left me feeling slightly despondent but not without providing me with a new perspective on life itself.

Loneliness, I soon discovered was the central theme in this book, not abuse or alcoholism which are widely used main themes. Our central character is a lonely woman who irrevocably finds her way out of her dreadfully dull life through a growing friendship with a guy named Raymond. The novel gives us snippets of information on how Eleanor has come to be who she is now, and the woman she has potential to become.

I think, in this novel, pace is very important. It is a novel that explores character development, which is why the book is as long as it is – the psychology of such a plain but complex character like Eleanor needs to offer a heavy load of back story and a unique voice, which is what this novel offers in all aspects. Initially, it is easy to want to give up on this book because of some petty aspects of Eleanor’s voice, reasoning and attitude, the depressing dampness of her character in the beginning, but reading on really paid off – my heart eventually reached out to a real life human being who experienced real life terrible things. Perhaps also, I began to see the human in her through the presence of other characters who helped her bring her out of the dark and into the light of the reader’s eyes.

There is dark freshness to this novel which I welcomed. And I think the author did extremely well to perfect a book based on character development alone. I think I will be reading more from the author in the future again.

 5 stars.


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