Check It Out: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Jul 3, 2018

This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library, and you are listening to Check It Out. Today I would like to whole heartedly recommend the novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.  If you are an avid reader, such as myself, there are times in your life where you get caught completely off guard by a book or a character. This is one such book for me. This is one such character. It is a small, intimate story without a large cast of characters or international intrigue, but I can say that I fell in love with Eleanor Oliphant. She belongs in that pantheon of quirky literary characters such as Arthur Pepper, Lillian Boxfish, or that wonderfully obdurate curmudgeon, Ove. Set in Scotland, Eleanor is a thirtysomething single woman with terrible social skills and an inept ability to understand those of her same species. And she has no self-awareness that what she is doing is at all awkward, or to some, rude. Something terrible happened to Eleanor when she was a child, which left her with a scar on her face and moving from foster home to foster home. But that doesn’t get in her way. To her, she is completely fine. She lives alone, has dinner alone, has a regimented schedule that, if deviated from throws her life askew. But, what happens to when she meets her company’s new IT guy, Raymond? Things start to change in her life. Slowly at first, but in profound ways.  When Raymond and Eleanor help an old man, who has passed out in the street, Eleanor starts to discover that her loneliness might not be completely fine. She slowly starts to realize that she had been merely existing. With friends, she is beginning to finally live. Honeyman does a great job of giving little bits of detail throughout, so the story unfolds in a very satisfying way. It has humor, sadness, pain, and love. It’s not your typical type of romance, but then again, Eleanor is not your typical woman. Visit the Sioux City Library and check out Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, see for yourself how wonderful she is.

Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.