This is a Book i have only heard praise about and therefore kept it a while off to read until i was Ready to see what the hype was About. And i was not disappointet!The Book was published with 383 pages in 2017 and this is what it is about:
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every Weekend.
Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled existence. Except, sometimes, everything …
Eleanor is the main Protagonist and shes not one of those „easy“ Main Characters. Shes very judgy of other People, she doesnt know most Things others do, she doesnt do most stuff others do, shes not a Standard character for Readers to Project themself into. She has her own Habits, her very own way of thinking About People and Life. Shes not always the nicest Person in the world, but that is excactly what i loved about her. She wasnt always perfectly nice, she sometimes had Trouble with communication, but it all made sense. Thats what happens with lonely People.
Another important Character is Raymond, her colleauge and i liked him very much for the same reasons. He isnt described as the handsome guy, the prettiest in the Office. He smokes, hasnt the best taste in clothers according to Eleanor and not a sixpack.
The side characters are all a Variety of life, of human beings, the Good and bad. Everyone Eleanor meets on her path either hurts her or makes her Day better and it is mostly not with a big gesture or plot Point, most of the time it is the Little Things. Just like in real life. The Little words that stick with you and hurt, the nice gesture from a stranger that brightens your day, Maybe without him knowing how much it meant to you.
Loneliness is a big Theme in this Book, but that is by far not the only one. The Title itself is already judgmental of Society. „Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine“ refers to People asking „how are you?“ while not expecting more than „Fine“ as an answer. Of Course Eleanor Oliphant is far from fine and the book is her journey. The Viewer is taken along that journey to discover why Eleanor is not fine with at the same time being there for the Change in her life with every Little step.
Gail Honeyman sheds a light on the litte interactions and communication between strangers, between colleauges, between Friends and Family. The gap between expectation and reality, the way prejudices and judgmental thoughts Cloud your mind. How you sometimes just Need a friend, but also the negative sides that may come with Opening up to People.
But it is also About Alcoholism, mental Health, Traumas, different upbringings and how Society threats Depression different to Cancer, because you dont talk About it. The Book indirectly asks Questions what it is like to live, instead of being alive. What it means to step out of your comfort Zone, to Change while not too much, to say yes to the Meeting invite and still get surprised by life.
It is Beautiful in a unique way. Eleanor has such a original way of thinking, Talking, observing. I loved this Book from start to end because the writing was easy to understand, while make me laugh and cry at the same time and leaving with a thoughtful mind. There was just the Right balance between wit and Sadness. Although i would have wished for there to be a few more Moments where Eleanor was sad, Angry, confused, just more negative About changing her Routine. Most of the time she is fine with changing her Routine and i thought that hard to believe if you live in strong routines most of your adult life. I thought the Book was predictble (not that that is bad, it didnt lessen my enjoyment while reading), but the ending left me surprised. Theres a Twist i didnt see coming and i loved it.
This was such a hard section because this Book is full of amazing Quotes, whole paragraphs even. But i went with this.
„At the Office, there was that palpable sense of Friday joy, everyone colluding with the lie that somehow the Weekend would be amazing and that next week, work would be different, better.“ (S. 9)
This Book was a Beautiful Journey of life, of People, the god, bad and inbetween. A brilliant Book from start to finish.