03 Mar Book review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. The title says it all, Eleanor was just fine. Her routine was pretty settled – she worked, listened to her radio soaps, spoke to her mother once a week and drank herself into oblivion at the weekends.
That was her life and she was happy with it…rather, she was at least fine with it. She didn’t like socialising nor had any friends or family to speak of. Eleanor worked at the same agency in the accounts department since she left university and it never occurred to her to move jobs. It never occurred to her that she deserved more, not only at work, but in life. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a one of a kind book.
She had a complicated upbringing. Separated from her mother when she was a child after a tragic house fire that left her scarred in more than just the physical sense, she grew up in foster care. Never wanting to be a burden to her foster families, she was content with having a roof over her head, food to eat and a warm bed to sleep in. Again, never thinking that she deserved more.
That was until she met Raymond, the IT guy in the office. He’s unhygienic, a smoker and a bit of a bumbling idiot. Together they save Sammy, an elderly man, from a terrible fall one evening. The three of them become friends and entwined in each other’s lives. Wildly different from one another, they’re exactly what they need at the time to save each other from their lonely lives.
Eleanor is quirky, has no EQ and seems to not be aware of her weirdness. I loved watching Eleanor transform from a recluse who didn’t really live, but rather existed into a woman who realised the beauty of life and friendship if only she allowed it.
The book was a slow start for me, but once I got into it, I loved it. Eleanor is not a traditional protagonist by any means and is frustrating most of the time. I could feel her anxiety leap off the pages as I read. I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to anyone. It’ll make you laugh, feel overly anxious and celebrate the small battles won in her life.
It’s currently in the works to make the book into a movie. I am excited to watch it…hopefully they do it justice.