Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: Book review

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine: Book review

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is one of those books that have been on my TBR for a long time and when Evalinah and Simant asked me for a buddy read I just jumped at the chance. So shall we get on with it?

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About the book

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Book Name: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Author: Gail Honeyman

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Eleanor Oliphant, Raymond Gibbons, Laura, Sammy

Setting:  GlasgowScotlandThe UK

Plot Summary of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Eleanor Oliphant is a twenty nine year old  blunt and has not mastered the social etiquette yet. She has been living alone for a long time and barely speaks to people. She has had a difficult relationship with her mother, her only relative always but now she sees a light in the form of a guy, a musician apparently. 

She has it all planned. All she had to meet him, he will realize she is the one for him, they will fall in love and a happily ever after was destined. But she was not ready to bump into Raymond, a office coworker nor meeting his mother. 

What happened in her past that affected her so much? How did Raymond’s presence alter her path? You will have to read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine to know more.

Book review of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

I am nowhere like Eleanor in real life but somehow I could relate to her thoughts. And that is where the author shines. She has written a character who is full of flaws and is annoying, unlikable, yet believable and relatable. 

Things that worked for me

  • I think the strength of the book was its well developed characters.
  • I liked how the tension and suspense about Eleanor’s past was maintained till the end. 
  • There are lots of funny moments that had me chuckling loud in the public.

Things that didn’t work for me

The plot is character driven so if you are waiting for that plot twist, it isn’t coming.

As part of our buddy-reading, Evalinah, Simant and I exchanged some questions for each of us to answer. You can hop to their blogs and check out their answers.

Evalinah’s questions

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine has some bigger than life concepts and ideas. What’s the biggest lesson you took away from it? Has it affected how you view things in life at least a little bit?

I loved how Eleanor was a go-getter and was never afraid to push her limits. Be it the makeover or the bikini wax, she was ready to try them because she needed to. She is a strong woman not because of her circumstances but despite them.

If you liked Don Tillman from the Rosie Project, #EleanorOliphantIsCompletelyFine is right up your alley. Read my #review here #bookblogger Click To Tweet

Since Eleanor is a very unreliable narrator, the first things we hear about Raymond are somewhat repulsive because she sees him very negatively at first. But then we indirectly learn that he basically has a heart of gold. What was your “reader’s journey” in regards to Raymond? Did you start seeing him as a “book boyfriend” eventually, or..?

Raymond reminded me of Roy from the IT crowd, right from the beginning. I loved how he wasn’t portrayed as just another guy and we all fell in love with him directly. 

What did you think of the writing style? Namely, the way we were always given Eleanor’s sometimes ridiculous opinions first, and only then learned the truth indirectly through actual events? What do you think this gave to the story, especially when it comes to how we see Eleanor and her changes?

I remember us updating each other (while reading) about the mystery about the ‘past’. She had us hooked right where we wanted and even though we were able to kinda predict we stuck through it to see how it panned out. 
And I think that is where the author won as a writer.

Check out her post here

Simant’s questions

Eleanor is an unlikable character in the beginning. It’s not that we generally meet such people in daily life. She is one of the oddest characters I’ve ever read. But as the story progresses, we start connecting with her and understanding her better. 

Why do you think it is so? Why we felt connected to her though we don’t relate to her on so many levels? Or if you do resemble her in some way, share your experience may be? 

I think at some level we all relate to her because she says aloud things that we all think. I think those rough edges helped Eleanor win us over. 

Throughout the book, there is a mystery about Eleanor’s mother. Off course, in the end, the mystery is resolved. Do you think this twist was necessary for the overall growth of the story? The ending we expected for Eleanor arrives eventually, so don’t you think this mystery angle was tiresome to stretch out till the very end? 

I kinda guessed what it have been (more or less) but I think without that mystery I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book as much.

It made us (the reader) keep thinking about it even though Eleanor was not ready to deal with it yet. I Like I said before, this book is not about the plot twist, it is more about the characters. 

This novel is a mix of humour and a darker plot. There were some thought-provoking sections, like Eleanor’s relationship with money. She was always highly conscious about how much she spends and is not willing to pay for social occasions etc. But since she had no one else to take care, I think it made sense that she was keen on safeguarding her personal finances.

What do you think about this? Also, do you think Raymond’s introduction in her life changed her views on lots of things?

I think Raymond opened up Eleanor to a whole lot of things and emotions that she didn’t understand earlier. She obviously didn’t have a normal childhood nor adult life, and she definitely needed someone to guide her through these social etiquette. 


As someone who avoids series, I rarely say this but I wish there was a sequel coming up to Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. I have not got enough of Eleanor Oliphant.

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Let us chat

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine one before? If so what do you think of it? Do you like reading about characters with a traumatic past? Let us talk.

Book Review: The Sunlight Pilgrims

Book Review: The Sunlight Pilgrims

elgeewrites Book Review: The Sunlight Pilgrims sunlight

Call me a pessimist but I am still wary about the much talked about Doomsday or Apocalypse. I mean who wouldn’t want a Hulk or Iron man to save our asses and since I know that it is not gonna happen I will want Constance from this book to be at my side. Apart from being fiery, no nonsense and resourceful she is completely Apocalypse prepared. Not only that she is getting her daughter trained as well. Oh have I not started my review yet? Oops here it goes!

When I received this book from Random House, I was in the middle of reading another book but I couldn’t wait out to start this one. Thankfully, this was an e-book so spent my time burning my midnight oil over without being all guilty for a reading a book while another was already being read. But sadly the fervor to complete the book stopped then and here and it took about another ten more days to review. Fret not, I am with a review about The Sunlight Pilgrims: A Novelelgeewrites Book Review: The Sunlight Pilgrims ir?t=elgeewow 20&l=am2&o=1&a=0553418874 by Jenni Fagan. 

Author:   Jenni Fagan
Genre: Fiction – Thriller
Characters: Constance, Stella, Dylan, Gunn,  Vivienne, Barnacle

Setting: Clachan Fells, ScotlandThe UK
Disclaimer: I received this book from the Random House (publisher) free of cost in return for an honest review.
The story set in an ‘end of the world’ scenario is built around a mother Constance, her daughter Stella (who was her son until a short while ago) and Dylan a young man who has just moved into their neighbourhood. Dylan still grieving the death of his mom and his grandmother, leaves the Babylon movie theatre which was his world until now. He is attracted to Constance, a quirky cool mom who is frowned upon by their mini society for having been in just two relationships in the past 20 years. She is also very protective about her daughter/son Stella, who is being bullied by her former friends.
If you are on the lookout for a complete Doomsday SciFi, then this is not the book for you. Ice Age is a mere backdrop of this well spun story on humans and relationship. In fact, there are inconsistencies in the science and beliefs that we have about ice ages, but those flaws are ignorable for it has some eccentric and interesting characters that make up for it. The characters and the premise are absolutely off the world. 
Even with the story moving at a glacial place and despite the fact that I couldn’t relate much to the characters, the poetic writing made me sit through the 300 pages. It handles several difficult themes like coming of age, gender confusion, monogamy, Transgender issues, bullying etc that makes the end-of-the-world seem much less important, intentionally or otherwise. 
Bottomline: Read this book if you are interested in the themes like gender confusion, monogamy, Transgender issues, bullying, ignore the slow pace and indulge yourselves in the depth of the writing.