Author: Gail Honeyman
Narrated By: Cathleen McCarron
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Contemporary Fiction
Time: 11 hours 1 minute
Release Day: May 9, 2017
Trigger Warnings: Suicidal Ideation
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine was one of my Top Five Books I Wish I Read in 2017. Thankfully, my mother already had the Audible version downloaded. After I finished We are Legion (We are Bob), I decided that now would be a great time to listen to it before it falls too far down on my TBR.
Eleanor Oliphant, the protagonist and whose perspective the story is told is, believes she is completely fine. She is twenty-nine years old; works in an office; and lives with Polly, her Australian parrot-plant. She has everything she needs to maintain a functioning life. She even purchased her first laptop – advancing herself into the technological age.
It is not long though, that we learn that Eleanor is definitely not fine. Her job hired her with a black eye and an arm cast, there is a suspicious scar on her face, and she has some pretty extreme mummy issues. It was not until Eleanor, with the help of her co-worker Raymond, assisted an elderly man during his funny time she begins to realize that she may not be as fine as she once thought she was.
Honeyman does a notable job of explaining things through Eleanor’s eyes. Even though Eleanor is thirty for the primary part of the story, she has spent the majority of her life sheltered. She has never had a laptop or a cellular phone, and she is ignorant to a majority of society staples. I found it extremely refreshing to experience things in Eleanor’s shoes. My favorite scene is when she attends a birthday party and learns the YMCA dance for the first time (although Eleanor has no idea why they ever made a song about the Young Men’s Christian Association). I also appreciated how honest Eleanor was in portraying the other characters in the book. Especially, Raymond who is my new literature crush.
I was unsatisfied with Eleanor’s fascination with the musician and how long lasted in the novel. I understand that it was the basis for the climax of the book; however, I almost feel like this could have been moved up about six more chapters. I also despise Eleanor’s mother. I am sure the majority has to do with the voice Cathleen McCarron chose to use, but every time Eleanor’s mother talked I wanted to hop into the Audible and tell her mother off.
I also listen to all of my Audible books twice before reviewing them. Like We are Legion (We are Bob), Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is another novel where it is beneficial to listen to back-to-back. When I started over from the beginning, I began to spot all of the little clues Honeyman left regarding the “Big Twist” that I did not pay enough attention to the first time. Had I gone into the novel with a “super sleuth” mind frame, I maybe would have caught them. However, as I was being told the story through Eleanor’s brain, I only paid attention to the things Eleanor deemed important (like how her boobs weigh one stone).
Overall, I gave Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. I am glad I stuck with this book. After the first five chapters, I really wanted to throw the towel in and make this a DNR. Thankfully, Raymond entered Eleanor’s life and turned everything around. This made the book a lot more enjoyable as Eleanor stepped out of her comfort zone. The best part was, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is not a story about how a boy enters a troubled girl’s life and solves all her problems. Raymond may have been the catalyst, but Eleanor did all of the hard work.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine has been optioned as a movie by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine! I cannot wait to see how this one turnes out!