Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (2013)

by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is not fine. At 29, she is friendless and aloof. Socially inept, she can be rude and is the butt of coworkers’ ridicule. As a result of a fire 20 years before, she grew up in foster care and has a scarred face. The words of her cruel mother continue to haunt her. But rather than acknowledge her problems, Eleanor is proud of how she manages on her own. She believes she doesn’t need anyone.

Her company’s IT person, Raymond, is the catalyst for change. One day Eleanor and Raymond see an elderly man, Sammy, collapse on the street. Kindhearted Raymond insists they call an ambulance and stay with him until it arrives. He takes Eleanor to the hospital to visit Sammy. Eleanor is drawn into Sammy’s family and discovers real friendship with Raymond. He encourages her to get therapy. Gradually Eleanor confronts her demons and, if not completely fine, is getting better.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is an emotionally satisfying book — warmhearted, sad, funny, insightful, and moving.


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