Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

By Gail Honeyman,

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Book description


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with…

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Why read it?

15 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This novel contains an amazingly realistic portrayal of a neurodiverse character. The profound loneliness and trauma revealed are hard to read, but I'm so glad I did. Equally hilarious and sad, the story left me more conscientious of how I view and treat others. Add this to your reading list if you love a novel that strains your brain and pumps your heart. 

From Gloria's list on atypical characters you will love.

I adore a book that manages to be more than one thing at a time, and the way this novel blends the sweetness and charm of awkward humans trying (and failing) to connect, with a mordant, sharp humor, and a backstory that makes you catch your breath is a kind of sorcery. Eleanor Oliphant as a person is not at all fine, actually, but as a character is brilliantly memorable.

From Kristina's list on unapologetic women.

Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills; she tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Her remarks, unconscious wit, and deadpan reactions to other people make this story light when it could be very sad, as it touches upon the issues of isolation and mental health. As Eleanor progresses through her unique way of attaining a misguided goal, she’s helped by some warm but also somewhat weird new friends. I laughed at parts of this uplifting story, and it made me view those around me with more understanding. It may have that effect on you, and hopefully, make you smile. 

From Nancy's list on stories that make you smile.

Eleanor Oliphant is socially awkward and prefers to avoid human contact, sticking to her preset schedule and weekly phone calls with her mother until the day she and her co-worker Raymond save an elderly man who has fallen from a tree. In turn, they save each other from their own self-imposed isolations and teach each other to open their hearts. This book kept me smiling from the start, laughing out loud at times and the characters are so memorable. For anyone who has ever felt like they haven’t found their place or their people (*raises hand*), this book will deliver…

Another feisty and this time slightly odd character, Eleanor Oliphant reminds me of a good friend of mine. She is honest to the point of brutality. She has a deadpan way of delivering a line that leaves you holding your breath to see if she will burst out laughing or simply nod sagely. Eleanor has low expectations, and the warmth of an unexpected human connection takes her by surprise. She lives her life her way and gives her opinions freely, and her awkwardness and eccentricities only make the reader love her more. 

From Alison's list on with feisty, female protagonists.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine provides another entry into the viewpoint of a distinct character. As the first-person narrator, Eleanor takes you through her days, her thoughts, and her perspectives on the small and not-so-small details of her life. What the narrator is and is not saying makes this novel a master class in backstory reveal. How the author peels away layers of the main character, through her own words and actions to allow us to learn the truth is exceptionally well done. The first-person narrative gave me empathy for this unique character and again, showed me how many ways…

From Cookie's list on a unique narrator perspective.

The transformational journey of the main character, Eleanor, in this book is profound and very touching. Eleanor lives a predictable, lonely, atypical life that fulfills practical needs, but overlooks any emotional connections because she’s never felt she “needed” those. It’s only when she meets a fellow underdog at work and slowly comes out of her shell that her past wounds start to heal. Eleanor is a very unique person, and being in her head was eye-opening for me. Truly a story that will make you both laugh and cry, and that stayed with me for a long time.

Eleanor Oliphant is one of my favorite characters in literature, full stop. A misanthrope with multiple ‘issues’, we join Eleanor on a journey from deliberate solitude to reluctant companionship as life forces itself through the tiny cracks in her heart and we learn that the first and maybe the hardest secret to happiness is being open to it.

From Tim's list on upbeat books for tough times.

You can’t get more quirky than Eleanor Oliphant with her unique take on life and the people around her. She’s hilarious in her observations and her goal to meet – and date – a musician drives the narrative forward in an, often, comic way. But her idiosyncrasies hide a darker truth and as the novel progresses, the reality of what she’s dealing with is revealed. I loved this book for being able to combine the light and dark of life in a compelling way, as well as for the writing style and the original voice of Eleanor. We see her…

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine follows a depressed woman’s journey of transformation and growth as she finds social acceptance and friendship for the first time in her life.

When Eleanor helps a stranger who has collapsed on the street, her lonely and dysfunctional life begins to change for the better through a series of related incidents. While the backstory hints at how much she was traumatised as a child that she learnt to accept physical, verbal, and emotional abuse as the norm, the story remains focused on Eleanor’s journey towards a happy life, with a positive and realistic ending. Eleanor…

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