Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was published on 18 May 2017 by Harper Collins and is available to buy here
Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live
Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal 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 life. Except, sometimes, everything.
One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life.
Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than… fine?
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is an unusual coming of age story. It is a moving tale of a woman aged thirty discovering life.
The story introduces us to Eleanor. Eleanor is scarred, both physically on her face and mentally. We see that she lives a quiet self contained life. She works as an accounts assistant. She lives in her flat. She is very structured in her activities and how she lives her life. Eleanor is self medicating with alcohol. Getting through a couple of bottles of vodka every weekend. She is convinced that she is ‘fine’. We can see that Eleanor is not really fine. She is coping. She is lonely. One day, she starts to change. The world starts to move in on her empty life. She begins to interact with a fellow co-worker. She develops a crush on someone she sees. She starts a process of self discovery, to work out who she is and to uncover the secrets stored within her.
If ever a character needed a hug, it is Eleanor. She gets to you. She comes across as being on the autistic spectrum. She is very literal, in her communication. She doesn’t seem to be able to decode human interaction very well. She is eccentric, but also lacking in self awareness. Slowly she makes a few changes to her appearance and within her life. This enables her to fit in a little more. She stands out less. She becomes less of a target, for low grade bullying at work. We see Eleanor engage more and try to grow as a person. She steps out of her comfort zone. This triggers depression. She starts to unravel her dark past. She becomes strong enough emotionally to cope with remembering.
Eleanor is remarkable. Now I’ve finished Eleanor Oliphant, I miss her. Her quirky ways are very endearing. Her thought processes amusing. This story is told with humour and honesty. We see Eleanor triumph in a harsh world. Recommended.