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Fixed on Fiction

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

In September, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman-

Meet Eleanor Oliphant. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully time-tabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy. Then everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living--and it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.

-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Overall, Eleanor was well-received in our group with seven thumbs-up votes and three so-so votes. Here are some of comments readers made while discussing their reaction to this month’s selection:

  • This read like a first book. I kept thinking, “Ok…get on with it,” but I did like Eleanor. But the fact that she was socially awkward and extremely lonely and had some sort of behavioral disorder was a bit too much.
  • Thumbs up. It made you think about people at work who could use a friend. But you have to be a friend to have a friend.
  • Thumbs up. I finished it so quickly and it made me laugh out loud.
  • I got a big kick out of Eleanor. I was thinking of Bates Motel though as soon as she started talking about Mummy. Also, I thought the ending was rushed. I didn’t like the quick wrap with the news article.
  • I was surprised to that someone could be in foster care that long without receiving proper psychiatric help.
  • I loved the “good days” section. And I didn’t find it hard to believe that she would be moved around so much in foster care- it sounded like she was a difficult child.
  • So-so. I couldn’t get her right in my head. I couldn’t figure her out or understand her…so I just felt confused about her throughout the whole book.
  • I loved the beginning. And it made me realize that it takes a lot to be social (it’s a lot of work) and hard for some to train themselves to not always speak the complete truth.
  • I loved this one…I stayed up very late two nights in a row so I could finish it. I really wasn’t sure what to expect…but I was blown away when I found out Eleanor was talking to a figment of her imagination.

Other titles FoF is enjoying-

Do No Harm


Deep South

My Brilliant Friend

How to Find Love in a Bookshop

These are simply some of the highlights from our discussion. Feel free to leave additional thoughts on Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in the comments section below


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