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Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
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Archive: Other Books > Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 4 stars

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Charlotte | 1663 comments Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman
4 stars

I read this for an in-person book club that I have going on this month, thank goodness since I'm struggling through my spy novel pick.

I'm glad I waited a day to ponder on what I read before writing my review. As soon as I finished I declared that it would be a 5 star book but as I thought on it, my mind changed.

The book starts off easy enough and it's a bit hard to like the main character. She's a bit prickly. There is a big climax and a plot twist that I wasn't expecting. There are great themes to discuss but my complaint is how easy it was for Eleanor to wrap her hands around her mental illness. In my experience things just do not work out that easily. Maybe it is that my brother was manic and not clinically depressed... I don't know, but it has been far from being an easy road for him. This is what kept me from giving the book 5 stars... I didn't like that she made overcoming mental illness so easy... it didn't seem realistic based on my experience.

I did like the idea that I feel was touched on all to briefly, nature vs nurture. I've landed in a unique position to be able to add insight to this topic. In June (two months ago) I found out that I have a long lost half-brother that I never knew existed. We met each other for the first time two weeks ago (part of the reason I've barely read anything this month). I also have 4 other half-siblings that I've known my whole life. I think that nature can be very strong but it is all dependent upon who many genes and which ones you get. That being said, I'm more similar to the half-brother I never knew in both personality and looks than I am the half-siblings I've been around my whole life.

I definitely enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a nice general fiction read.... it would be a good choice if we end up with Friendship next month!


message 2: by Amy N. (new)

Amy N. | 256 comments That's quite a story, Charlotte!

I've been wondering whether to pick this one up and you've given me some more to think on. Good review.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 4 stars

Amy | 9352 comments Charlotte, your story stayed with me. We all read some of these books with a different life story that we bring to it. This (Elinor) was definitely unsettling at times.


KateNZ | 2668 comments I haven’t read this yet, but am itching to get to it. Your insights are really interesting.

How fantastic that you have found a new half-sibling and that he is so like you. Has he got other siblings? If not, it must be even more lovely for him to have found a family


Susie | 4488 comments I agree with you about the overcoming mental illness aspect. Thanks for sharing your personal story.


Charlotte | 1663 comments Thanks guys!!! He had a sister that was also adopted but she passed so he's stuck with just me ;) He's pretty freaking awesome so I'm so happy to add him to my family. It's just funny to me that when I found out about him the topic of nurture vs nature was a common question between us, it ended up being a theme in this book, and I've had it come up a few more different ways.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Wow, what a great review. Overcoming mental illness is far from easy and some you never overcome.
What a great time in your life. I'm so glad you have all of this happening in your life right now. How amazing. I wish the best for you.


message 8: by Joi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3834 comments Very cool story, Charlotte. What an emotional rollercoster that must have been for you and the family. How great that you and him get along so well, and have been able to connect and create that new relationship.


message 9: by annapi (last edited Aug 28, 2018 07:34AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

annapi | 5159 comments Thanks for sharing with us, Charlotte! How cool about your newly-discovered brother!

To those of you still on the fence about reading this book, add my voice to the encouraging ones - I too really enjoyed this and recommend it.


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