☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What It’s About:
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Soon to be a major motion picture produced by Reese Witherspoon, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes. . .
The only way to survive is to open your heart.
Wow, what a book! I got everything I expected and more from Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly Fine. From the quirky, lovable characters to the twisted, surprise culmination, I was riveted to this book. I loved observing Eleanor blossom from recluse to a woman with a zest for living life to the fullest.
Eleanor Oliphant leads a rigid and controlled life. It seems sad and depressing, but it is the only way she can feel in control of the maelstrom of the world. There are early hints of a disfiguring accident but details are not revealed until the story’s zenith. Throughout the story, I questioned Eleanor’s pious judgment of everyone as well as her continued weekly calls with her odd, judgmental mother. This woman, who clearly doesn’t have her best interest at heart and does not love her unconditionally, greatly influences and shapes Eleanor. Their relationship creates some story tension as well as a great deal of sympathy for Eleanor.
The secondary characters bring so much to the story by way of their impact on Eleanor. Raymond, the geeky IT guy in the office, is a welcome addition to the story. He sparks a change in Eleanor. He and their few outings become the catalyst for Eleanor to venture out of her limited comfort zone. Sammy, along with Raymond’s mother, are charming elders whose sincerity, warmth and welcoming acceptance greatly impact Eleanor. She is truly affected by the gratitude and affection they show her.
From her quirky, isolated beginning to her decision to live her life fully, Eleanor’s journey is amazing. It’s highly satisfying to ‘watch’, and Eleanor’s simple declaration that she survived provides a hopeful end after many missteps and a tragic rock bottom. The darkness from Eleanor’s traumatic childhood is balanced with the lightness of her new acquaintances and outlook for her future. Eleanor Oliphant is Perfectly fine is a deeply gratifying read.
The audiobook is excellently narrated by Cathleen McCarron.
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