Ratings: ★★★★ 1/2 (4.5/5)**
Title: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Author: Gail Honeyman
Publisher: Viking-Pamela Dorman Books, dated May 9, 2017
Pages: 327 counts
After I finished this novel, it has taught me three things I should not do before picking up a book:
a) Never judged a book by its innocent, unassuming and plain looking toned cover. I chose this book expecting a featherweight but.. hello, from the other side! (Adelle said it right).
b) A book entitled with a fine word does not guarantee that it’s all about that, fine. I realized how that word can be underestimated and overestimated congruently with feelings inexplicably expressed.
c) Preventing myself to read reviews before opening a book is completely fine. It’s a good move not to spoil my most anticipated curiosity and be surprised once in a while.
Eleanor Oliphant described herself as an emotional independent woman and she takes pride of managing her life alone. She is nearly in her thirties who worked as a finance clerk in a graphic design company for almost nine years. Her oddities, honest and unfiltered words, awkward social capacities has been a buzzed and a source of entertainment among her colleagues.
I have always taken great pride of managing my life alone. I’m a sole survivor—- I’m Eleanor Oliphant. I don’t need anyone else—– there’s no big hole in my life, no missing part of my own particular puzzle. I am a self-contained entity. That’s what I’ve always told myself at any rate.
Her daily routines included crossword puzzles, her days in Tesco Metro, pizza and some vodka until a malfunction of her office computer happened. Then, she met an IT professional, Raymond Gibbons, who Eleanor thinks as an ill-fitted, unkempt and unpleasant man. Appearance might be the first subject of impressions but the benevolence of Raymond’s heart lead them to help and meet Sammy. The intersections of their lives have done an indelible transition that intertwined them to encounters they never expect to happen.
Amidst being a debut novel for Gail Honeyman, I commend how boisterous her thoughts and voice created in this book. She created a monumental character whom you want to love passionately and give an overwhelming hug that will linger and replace all those poignant lost years struggled by her protagonist, Eleanor. She created an ordinary settings, ordinary solitary woman who has profound life experiences. I can’t help but give credit to the author on how she blended the story exquisitely and deliver a message she purports to leave in her reader’s mind. The way it addressed isolation as its subject made this distinctive to other books I read as well.
When the silence and the aloneness press down and around me, crushing me, carving through me like ice, I need to speak aloud sometimes, if only for proof of life.
Eleanor is a paradox of complicated and lovely demeanor all at once. Humor is naturally present of her, innocent and straightforward, having no effort to produce it at all. The absence of love, emotional connection and kinship in her life made me pondered of how often these relationships has been taken for granted while others unimaginably longed to experienced it.
As Eleanor’s childhood and past life started to be revealed, I found Raymond’s impartiality, unbiased prejudice, open-mindedness and gentle heart to be a ray of hope to take Eleanor out of her darkness abyss. Apart from his hygiene and physical appearance that disgrace Eleanor’s first impression, he cracked out her shell of misjudgment towards other people whom she conceded to be and what she realized been a mistake along the way. Raymond’s benevolence and willingness to help without taking credit has lead them to a life-altering relationship with Sammy. It lead them to meet a lovely family which awakened Eleanor of what herself has demand and denied at all. It made her realized how relationship can affect one’s identity.
I would never have suspected that small deeds could elicit such genuine, generous responses. I felt a little glow inside—– not a blaze, more like a small, steady candle.
This book taught me of unlimited kind of relationship: A relationship of a family, of a mother to her daughter, how important it is to build an identity, character and well-being. A relationship to friends and colleagues, how we should be sensible and take consideration not only of their physiques but the intramural of their hearts. Most of all, A relationship to love one’s self, how dare can someone love somebody if one is violent and a vicious enemy of its own self? There’s no one who is more capable to help us than ourselves and there’s no available help for someone who do not ask of it after all. Therefore, we should ask for us to receive. Love is not an exception yet the universal rule of the world.
She looked at him with so much love that I had to turn away. At least I know what love looks like, I told myself. That’s something. No one had ever looked at me like that, but I’d be able to recognize if they ever did.
I highly recommended this book for all the lover of fiction books and for those who take the word fine more than it supposed to de-fine.
Writing style: 4.5/5