I was lucky enough to snatch a copy of this at Goodwill. It has been sitting on my shelf for way too long…a colleague reached out to me and asked if I had read this book as she just had and was dying to talk about it. Thankfully I had it on hand and immediately started it…and then spent all day reading because I could not get enough.
So here I am, special education teacher, assuming Eleanor is on the spectrum. She has poor social skills, set routines, and does not understand life’s nuances. Her co-workers mock her and make fun of her and she really isn’t all that aware as she is that socially inept. We do gather that she has survived a house fire (albeit with scars on her face) when she was a little girl and has a dysfunctional mother who berates her constantly.
Meet Raymond. He is a new employee at her office and they start to form a bond after they witness an elderly man have a medical episode and assist him. Raymond is an absolute doll and helps Eleanor become more social. I wish Eleanor would have eyes for him; however, she has a crush on a musician she saw play once and is convinced he’s the one.
I did not expect so much character growth! Eleanor grew up with a LOT stacked against her. After the fire she was placed in protective custody and bounced from foster home to foster home. No one nurtured her. No one cared. When Eleanor has a rough time accepting her fate with her musician it is Raymond who comes to the rescue because he cares. What a friend. Eleanor even calls him her friend! Eleanor in the beginning of this book and at the end are two different people. I am so proud of her with how much she has allowed herself to grow! Eleanor has overcome a LOT in her short 30 years time including abuse, trauma, and betrayal. Truly remarkable writing by Honeyman!
This is a must read 4.5 star read. I would have loved a small epilogue because, well, I can’t say, it will ruin the progression of the book if I do. This book took me by surprise and made me feel so emotional. Raymond took the time to treat Eleanor like a human being, which is something we all should aspire to do with every human we meet. There is no need for her office co-workers to treat her in the manner they do. I am glad Raymond was there to step up and be a friend. If you haven’t read this, don’t put it off any longer. Read this now! Have you read this one? What did you think? Let’s talk about it!
Title: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Genre(s): Contemporary, Fiction, Humor
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: June 5, 2018