Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman: Brilliant, Quirk, and Uplifting

""So yeah," she said, "I couldn't decide between animals or nails, so I asked my mum, and she said I should go for nail technician." She picked up an emery board and began to shape my nails.
The thought did strike me, as she painted on various coats of various varnishes, that she could have perhaps combined the two professions by becoming a dog groomer."

Perfect for fans of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman or The Rosie Project by Don Tillman.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman follows the story of a thirty-year-old Eleanor Oliphant who works as an account receivable clerk in a design company. Having no social skills whatsoever, she tends to avoid unnecessary human contact by sticking to her organized schedule: planned meal every day, phone chat with Mummy every Wednesday, and vodka on weekends.

Everything changes though when she meets the new IT guy from the office. Raymond is unhygienic, way sloppy, and kind of a heavy smoker. When the two save an elderly man who has fallen on the street one day, their lives change. As the two grow closer, their friendship starts to heal a wound in her, and Eleanor eventually finds the courage to acknowledge her unspoken past and mend herself from within.

Upon finishing the book, I was at a loss for words. It was honestly a reaction I hadn't thought would be brought out by it. To understand, you should first know that my reading experience was separated into three different stages: the beginning chapters, which were quite interesting but not enough to get me hooked; the second 30-40%, which began to pique my real interest; and the rest, which at last made me want to rush everything I was doing just to continue it.

Brilliant, quirk, uplifting. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the kind of book that will warm your heart with its wits, weirdness, and life lesson. Through Eleanor's lens, albeit rather peculiar, the story lets readers connect with the life of its main character deeply, so the urge to care about her well-being became sort of irresistible for me.

This book felt beautiful somehow, but not because it was romantic or full of lyrical writing. Instead, Eleanor guided us with quite a wide range of vocabulary that I needed to open my Kindle's dictionary countless times to look up the meaning of the unfamiliar words (no kidding. Eleanor felt like a walking lexicon). I guess I chose to come up with the term 'beautiful' because of its... purity. Everything about itfrom Eleanor and Raymond's friendship, their encounter with Sammy the old man, even E's dark humor, to the super unexpected twist in the endwas what made this book special.

In short, as you may have already guessed, I truly adored this book. With its open ending, I found Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine quite hard to part with and so my mind started to make up every possibility that seemed great enough for our main characters E and R who deserved the world and more. So yes, this book might not be the one that made me feel all passionate and fiery inside, but experiencing Eleanor's development through this book was a journey I would like to revisit in the future. Having someone like Raymond in your life, on the other hand, would be something of a warm and fuzzy feeling.

P.S. (please stop reading if you haven't read this book yet): Sense and Sensibility was mentioned in this book more than once, and during the last few chapters, I made an unnecessary but interesting connection. Do Eleanor and Marianne remind you of Elinor and Marianne? Whether or not it's coincidental, I'm seriously loving the parallelism.

Actual rating: 4.5