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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  843,575 ratings  ·  71,691 reviews
Librarian's note: An alternative cover edition can be found here

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 unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen piz
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Pamela Dorman Books / Viking
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Melody Rule As someone who has a professional diagnosis of autism which I finally received in my 40s I have been most upset by some comments. Every single autisti…moreAs someone who has a professional diagnosis of autism which I finally received in my 40s I have been most upset by some comments. Every single autistic person is as different and individual as neurotypicals. I would never assume that all neurotypicals are good at social skills or enjoy physical contact just because they aren't Autistic. To suggest Eleanor cant be autistic because she likes holding hands is innacurate. I love to hold my husband's hand or my daughter's hand (Yes, shock horror, I am autistic, married and have a non autistic child!!) However, if a stranger were to touch me or even stand slightly close to me it would cause me huge anxiety. If my husband took my hand unexpectedly I would flinch. All behaviours can vary from day to day as with any human being. External factors as well as the autism itself have a bearing on how my traits present themselves. Also, Austism and it's huge range of traits and behaviours are measured on a spectrum and not a linear scale from severe to high functioning.

To suggest its used as an excuse is incredibly insulting. Getting a proffessional diagnosis is an extremely difficult process (especially as an adult) often taking years so to suggest there is some kind of bandwagon is extremely ignorant and ill informed. It took months of interviews with various teams of professionals, my whole family had to be interviewed so they could be sure my issues had been since infancy and I had to get all my old school whixh was almost impossible.
My experience is that autism is not over diagnosed but in fact under diagnosed especially in women The diagnostic criteria they use is based on males who often present as having more classic signs than girls.
Many autistic people have been victims of abuse and suffer ptsd as a result of being bullied, lonely and living their whole lives feeling disconnected and confused by the world. PtSD and autism are far from being mutually exclusive. IF YOU'VE MET ONE PERSON WITH AUTISM YOU ONLY HAVE ONE EXPERIENCE OF AUTISM.
It makes me so sad (Yes, I feel emotions very deeply as many autistic people do) that in an age of so-called autism awareness that there is still so much misinformation and ignorance. I hope my post goes some way to dispell some very damaging myths
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Ashley Tambunga Ratcliff I LOVE THIS ENDING. It leaves you with a sense of discouragement and hope at the same time--discouragement that Eleanor's issues are so much deeper th…moreI LOVE THIS ENDING. It leaves you with a sense of discouragement and hope at the same time--discouragement that Eleanor's issues are so much deeper than she could've imagined, and hope that she now has a friend and a counselor to get her though it. Gave me chills.(less)

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My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...


I won an advanced copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you!

To be honest, I'm not sure if this book would have been on my radar if I hadn't won it. Although the great reviews may have pulled me in. At any rate, I am so happy I read it.


Just like it says in the title of the book, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine....well she thinks she is. She is honestly not worried that
Susanne  Strong
5 Stars.
“Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” but after finishing this novel, I am not.

I was completely unprepared for the life of Eleanor Oliphant and that of her ‘Mummy.” To be frank, I was ill-equipped to deal with it, much like Eleanor. And it wrecked me.

At thirty years-old, Eleanor Oliphant is alone in this world. She always has been, actually. In and out of foster care since she was a little girl, she has never been touched by anyone in a loving way and doesn’t even know what that would
Emily May
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary, 2017
Eleanor Oliphant is completely 100% fine. She goes to her office job five days a week and then treats herself to a frozen pizza and a bottle of vodka on a weekend. She lives alone and doesn't have any friends, but that's okay. She's doing real well, thank you very much.

Except maybe she isn't.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine caught me completely unawares. I'll be honest - I picked it up because it got some buzz and the author is British, but it actually turned out to be one of those perfectl
Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook

Need a good read for a bad day? Here's a Booktube Video all about it!!
The Written Review

If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn't spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.
Ohhh, I could not wish for a more perfect book.

Eleanor Oliphant is an office manager at a company. She's worked there for years and yet...she's never fit in.

The other girls
No. No. No. No. No. No.

All apologies to my lovely Goodreads friends who have liked (or loved) this book, but it's not for me.

And it's sad. . . because I wanted it, I waited for it, and I was finally able to start it. It's Mother's Day, and my family handed me bath salts and my new book and told me to go for it. They know I'm just crazy enough to read an entire book in one bath, and I was ready to do it.

And I prepared my bath, and I began reading, and I was (very quickly) almost in physical pain
Nov 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I’m really surprised that I (mostly) enjoyed this in the end. The plot itself is a somewhat dull slice of life, but the titular character really picks up the slack. Eleanor Oliphant is a good example of a well-written unlikeable character. She is aloof, judgemental, uncomfortably awkward, and I hated her until I didn’t.

Have some bullet points:
- This is a story about loneliness, which definitely hits hard during the current lockdown/pandemic where many of us are forced to be isolated in one way
Charlotte May
4.5! What an incredible story!

“These days, loneliness is the new cancer - a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted.”

Eleanor’s story hit me so much harder than I expected it to. She is thirty years old, has worked at the same job since she left university, speaks on the phone to mummy once a week
j e w e l s
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Thank you, Eleanor Oliphant. Thank you for picking me up out of my reading slump. Thank you for being so funny, so sad, so smart, so blunt. Thank you for being a literary character that will live forever in the hearts of (most) anyone that reads you.

Oh, and a big thank you for enriching my own personal vocab. My Kindle dictionary has never had such a workout. What a nice perk!! Effortless writing that flows naturally fast, even though Eleanor O prefers to use crossword type clues as actu
Paul Bryant
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
Here is a novel at the exact room temperature everyone likes, not too cold, not to hot, just right, it’s like Goldilocks finding the right bed, everybody jumps in and goes right off to sleep, no one has a bad word to say, the Guardian loved it, the Irish Times said it “hits the accessible literary sweet spot”, Costa Book Prize, Reece Witherspoon to star in the movie, five stars rain down upon Eleanor Oliphant on Goodreads until she can no longer be seen, buried beneath tons of billowy love. If T ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
As you can deduce from the title, Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine. Or, so she thinks. But, by most people’s standards, I’d say not.

When you first meet her, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmingly sad for Eleanor. Maybe even to pity her a bit. Eleanor is simply existing in a lonely and somber life without friends or family. And let’s be honest, at times her bluntness is sort of off-putting.

Eleanor is just fine living by her own self-imposed routine. The hour-long lunch spent with the same sandwi
Larry H
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

I'll admit, when I started reading Gail Honeyman's debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine , I thought about issuing a moratorium on quirky characters who can't seem to pick up social cues or are oblivious to how people usually behave when interacting with peers, coworkers, those who provide service, and others. Obviously these are colorful characters to write about—it seems as if the literary world is full of them.

But the more time I spent with Eleanor Olipha
Always Pouting
Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eleanor Oliphant lives a fairly secluded life due to her lack of social graces and crippling self esteem and anxiety issues. She works at a graphic design firm in the finance department and spends the rest of her time at home, usually drinking. Her social life consists of a phone call with her mummy every week. Then one day she goes to a concert, for which she won tickets in a raffle, and falls in love at first sight with a musician. Eleanor decides to make some changes to herself as part of a p ...more
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tragic comedies with WTF endings with broken characters should be my all time favorite genre.

I read this book 2 years ago and I wanted to reread some parts to make myself remember how ultra amazing read should be so I can make my further choices wiser.

Eleanor has intimacy issues, having hard time to make friends, spending weekends with frozen pizza and vodka to reward herself. The storyline seems like a typical New Yorker’s story but it’s not. She seems all right but she is not. She is in deep p
Diane S ☔
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an absolutely fantastic character Eleanor is, a character that grew on me the more I read. She has had a scarred childhood, though we don't learn exactly what happened until later in the story, she wears the evidence on her face. She remembers little from that time only knows she was burned in a fire. Raised in a series of group homes, given an apartment by social services who still check on her though she is now thirty. She has few social skills, is very matter of fact, has no friends, few ...more
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Matthew by: Constantine
Eleanor Oliphant is NOT completely fine!

Well, at least not at first!

This book is a fantastic character study. The journey with quirky Eleanor through the past and present is bizarre at times, thought-provoking at others. But, I found it to be engaging no matter what. And, while it is mainly about Eleanor, there are a few other interesting characters met along the way as well. Such a fun ride!

Also, I thought from the start of the book it was just going to be a general humor-fiction sort of book.
Angela M
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
At first it’s easy to think that Eleanor is just a quirky social misfit with no friends and no social life and she is, but I soon found out that there is so much more to Eleanor and so much more to learn about her. It’s a lonely life she leads and she says everything is fine but we learn eventually that it isn’t, and that life hasn’t ever been fine. While hints of what happened to her are slowly divulged, we never really find out everything until the end . It’s heartbreaking to learn why she dro ...more
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
What an emotional roller coaster, this book! I laughed. I thought about crying. I was angry. I was delighted. I was empathetic. I was completely fine, sometimes.

What started out as a book that could have easily been called A Woman Called Eleanor ended up being far superior to that Ove stuff. There were legit moments that made me laugh, and the book turned in directions that were hard to get through, assuming you have a heart inside your chest that beats about 65bpm as mine does. A heart that fe
Elyse  Walters
Update.....I found a copy in my notes from last year ---

Here is the review I wrote right after I read it. I realize - almost a year later I can still remember so much about this story: ELEANOR is a terrific character ... and this book is great!!! Even GROWS on you!!!

Eleanor Oliphant, almost 30 years old, is one of those odd characters we think we may have seen before in our books --- lonely - awkward - lacking social skills. She doesn't have filters when it comes to saying what she's thinking. Y
eleanor oliphant may be completely fine but i, on the other hand, am not. sigh.

ugh. i feel so bad for not really enjoying this. this was the debut heard around the world, the debut that won numerous awards. and i saw so many people rave about this nonstop. but i think that was where i went wrong to begin with. the book blurb did not sound interesting to me in the least, so i probably shouldnt have picked it up to read just because everyone else was.

next, eleanor drove me up the wall. im talking
I dare you not to think Elephant when you hear this title. This writer is so clever! We've got the first part of elephant at the beginning of her first name, and the rest of the elephant in the last name. No, of course this book is not about elephants, but the writer sometimes plays with words--and that alone is a selling point for me. Maybe it's sort of like subliminal advertising, except the author isn't trying to sell us elephants. Eleanor Oliphant. Elephant elephant elephant!

I can get all an
Apr 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Oliphant is a thirty year old accounts receivable clerk who has a humdrum existence. She calls herself a self contained entity, eating lunch alone while doing crossword puzzles and spending every weekend alone with bottles of vodka. She feels freakish and ugly since she has scar tissue across her right cheek, a result of third degree burns suffered during childhood. She speaks to Mummy by phone every Wednesday. Eleanor lives with the only item to have survived her childhood, her parrot p ...more
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Eleanor Oliphant is one of the heroines of literature that I am sure I will remember always. She is brilliant, yet socially awkward. At the age of 10 she experienced a trauma that she never received any help with to sort through it. So, she repressed her memories and more importantly, she repressed her emotions. By the age of 30, she was so good at repression that it completely froze parts of her being and the underlying, unacknowledged fear of any of her repressions getting out were the root ca ...more
David Putnam
Feb 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great read. Highly recommend. The first couple of tasks for a novelist when starting a book (among others) is to first establish the Fictive Dream and second endear the reader to the character. This author starts the book out with the character telling us how mundane her life is. Yikes. What a huge risk. But the voice of the character is so superb, the voice actually picks the story up on its back and carries it for the length of the book. This is not an easy task. I loved the voice. ...more
Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
4.5 stars! Oh Eleanor, I desperately wanted to reach into this story and hug you (even though a hug would be extremely awkward for you) and welcome your quirky self into my life!

Eleanor’s journey took me on a roller coaster ride of emotions. Eleanor is obliviously socially awkward. She had me laughing out loud on one page and then holding back tears while breaking my heart on the next. Eleanor Oliphant is one of the most remarkable characters I have ever ‘met’! Eleanor’s inner thoughts (and ofte
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It took a while, but I fell in love with it. I finished reading it whilst I was at a cafe and realised how much of a trance I was in when I looked up and noticed my surroundings.

This is the story of Eleanor Oliphant, a 30 year old woman who's suffered a lot. The tone of the book is quiet, steady and slowly reveals her life to the reader. You can sense something traumatic has happened, but you're unsure, because Eleanor is unsure. Slowly, it is uncovered, and thus this is the
Oct 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Oh, Eleanor! How delightfully quirky you are! This book..well..let's just say was one of the most unusual and gratifying journeys that I have ever been taken on in the literary world. Thank you, Gail Honeyman for creating such a wonderfully, unique character that is Ms. Eleanor Oliphant. And that name? I.N.C.R.E.D.I.B.L.E.

I'm not going to attempt a summary of this book because that would seem slightly gratuitous. Therefore, I will simply say, that this novel is a character study of a woman, that
May 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-favorites
I’ve heard a lot of good things about “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, “ but I must admit I was somewhat reluctant to read it. I’ve recently read several novels about social misfits like Eleanor and felt like I needed a break from that type of character. Also, Gail Honeyman is a debut author whose work was only discovered through a writing competition. (How good could she be?) I decided to give Eleanor half an hour, but after only ten minutes of reading I was totally hooked and my reluctanc ...more
Mary Beth
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars!

I just loved Eleanor! She is a loner and avoids social interactions and lives in isolation. She speaks out without thinking, to whatever pops in her mind. She has never received hugs, or held hands and has never felt loved, she never received anything when she was sad to cheer her up. Never received balloons and received a balloon from Raymond with Sponge Bob on it and it was so special to her. She never heard of Sponge Bob.

She had an awful childhood with a scar on her face and bruise
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
"These days, loneliness is the new cancer – a shameful, embarrassing thing, brought upon yourself in some obscure way. A fearful, incurable thing, so horrifying that you dare not mention it; other people don’t want to hear the word spoken aloud for fear that they might too be afflicted, or that it might tempt fate into visiting a similar horror upon them."

I couldn’t help but think that the above presumption somehow rings quite true in this day and age. If we look around and see so many interacti
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Eleanor makes a great pretense of being fine. She manages her days with the help of vodka and by not engaging with others. Then, a chance event with a co-worker helping a man that has fallen in the street leads to the beginning of social engagement. At the same time, she thinks she has found the love of her life; a good looking rock musician that she doesn't actually know.

This books reads like a mystery. I kept turning pages to see how things would evolve. And to find out what about her past ha
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Gail Honeyman wrote her debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, while working a full-time job, and it was shortlisted for the Lucy Cavendish Fiction Prize as a work in progress. She has also been awarded the Scottish Book Trust's Next Chapter Award 2014, was longlisted for BBC Radio 4's Opening Lines, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize. She lives in Glasgow. ...more

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“If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn't spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.” 937 likes
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