Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

REVIEW

Utterly Captivating!

I absolutely adored Eleanor Oliphant. The unfolding tale of Eleanor’s life, her childhood, her relationship with her mother, her obsessive desire to meet the ‘perfect’ man, and her friendship with Raymond is beautifully written and held my attention throughout.

Her inability to function within a normal social gathering, along with her straightforward talking, was hilarious on occasions but it also made me want to cry on her behalf.  They say that opposites attract and her friendship with Raymond is proof of this.  Raymond is such an amazing character and shows Eleanor a different route in life, forcing her to try new experiences, going out, changing routine.  Eleanor has a strong, wilful and highly independent personality but even strong, independent people need someone to lean on once in a while.  I don’t think Eleanor would have been able to deal with memories that resurfaced if she did not have Raymond by her side.

Funny yet heart-wrenching. Be prepared to experience a range of emotions and enjoy every minute of it.

 

Synopsis

Eleanor Oliphant has learned how to survive – but not how to live. Eleanor Oliphant leads a simple life. She wears the same clothes to work every day, eats the same meal deal for lunch every day and buys the same two bottles of vodka to drink every weekend. Eleanor Oliphant is happy. Nothing is missing from her carefully timetabled life. Except, sometimes, everything. One simple act of kindness is about to shatter the walls Eleanor has built around herself. Now she must learn how to navigate the world that everyone else seems to take for granted – while searching for the courage to face the dark corners she’s avoided all her life. Change can be good. Change can be bad. But surely any change is better than. . . fine?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35900387-eleanor-oliphant-is-completely-fine)

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – By Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone is a fifteen year old boy who has Asperger’s Syndrome. He doesn’t like certain things, such as yellow and brown, different foods touching on his plate, and being touched. He does however have a very logical brain and likes to work out puzzles and mysteries.
One night he finds the neighbour’s dog dead on the front lawn. Christopher decides that he will become a detective and discover who has murdered Wellington, the dog. During the course of his investigations many things happen to Christopher that send him out of his comfort zone and into the path of strangers who do not understand him.
Christopher must overcome some of his fears in order to get to bottom of this mystery.

Review

This is an interesting book in both the way it is written and the contents. The language and grammar are written in the way that is likely of a teenager with Asperger’s although, with this being such a broad-based syndrome, people show different abilities and traits.
It was interesting to read the reactions of others to the boy as he ventured out into the world. We take for granted that everyone thinks the same, hears the same and processes information the same way. Have you ever stopped on a busy street, looked around at all the different people and thought about what they are seeing and feeling, I know I haven’t.
There were a few occasions throughout the book, especially where the police where involved, that I thought the situation would have been dealt with differently. I can’t imagine that when the father reported Christopher missing he didn’t explain that he had Asperger’s and that he didn’t like being touched. That would be one of the first things I would have mentioned.

I think the writer of this book has portrayed this character well and if you get nothing else from this book just try to remember that everyone is different and sometimes not everything is as it seems.