How do I even begin to describe Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine? Furthermore, how do I begin to describe Eleanor Oliphant as a character? I feel like the book itself was more complex than I anticipated. I chose this book because the good people of Instagram recommended it to me but also because I saw it in quite a few flatlays. I just wanted a book to read on holiday but I wasn’t quite sure on the genre or anything like that so I bought it without reading any of the reviews or summaries so I could make my own mind up. During the first 3 or 4 chapters, admittedly, I was still dubious as to where the story was heading and I was quite unsure about my choice. As I read on, the way that the lead protagonist, Eleanor’s character became increasingly more complex and layered. Her personality, if I’m being quite honest, was something I had very little patience for in the beginning.
However, as the book went on I started to really feel for her and I connected with the journey through her depression and mental health, the way it progressed – the good and the bad days. The way that Gail Honeyman tackled this delicate issue is really authentic in the way that it plays out through the story. I love Honeyman’s writing style and find the way that Eleanor’s story was written should be applauded. I think that the character could have been difficult to love but with this style in mind she was turned into a multi-dimensional character with heart-warming qualities. Books that involve mental health tend to miss out on the ‘human element’ of it and lack warmth so this character arch was very much appreciated by me.
Expanding on my point about the ‘human element’, I mean this in the way that there is a fine line between genuine/warm and cold/clinical portrayals of people with depression. With struggles such as Eleanor’s, the character quirks could have been the latter of the two sides. That being said, Honeyman gave us growth and understanding, a reasoning and a character arch that played through true to real life stories. This book is not my usual scene, to be honest I tend to sway more towards lighter topics or something with a bit of chase to it. However, having read Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, I have the utmost respect for the author and her command of the ‘human element’ that really brought the book to life for me.
I hope this post has helped you to decide on whether or not you should read this book or if you have already read it, I would love to know what you thought. I invite you to get in touch through either a comment or my contact page to let me know.