Book notes | Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Members of UMRA’s Fourth Friday Book Club enjoyed a lively discussion of Gail Honeyman’s prize-winning debut novel Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine when they met via Zoom on July 22. The group was especially impressed by the author’s ability to create an unreliable narrator and other quirky characters. 

Eleanor’s humorous description of herself as a lonely and socially awkward young woman is, at first, amusing, but the clues pile up as we gradually discover the circumstances that impacted her development and difficulties with other people. Negative encounters with co-workers and an abusive boyfriend are painful experiences that lead to depression and despair.

Fortunately, a chance encounter with the office IT guy, Raymond, becomes an opportunity to extend assistance to an injured man on the sidewalk and get him to the hospital. When the grateful family befriends Eleanor, she finds kindness and love. An understanding therapist gives Eleanor support as she recaptures the mystery of her traumatic childhood. 

Members of the book club remarked on how friendship and care, combined with Eleanor’s optimism and intelligence, give her the strength to face the truth so that she can live a happier and more fulfilling life.

One of members warmly recommended the audiobook version with the award-winning reader Cathleen McCarron, who voices the various characters in their Scottish accents. Also noted, there will be a film based on the book, produced by Reese Witherspoon.

—Margaret Catambay, UMRA Fourth Friday Book Club member

Publication date: 
July 27, 2022
At A Glance
Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Luncheon and Forum 
Campus Club, Fourth Floor
West Wing Dining Room
Coffman Memorial Union 

10:45–11 a.m.

Check in

11:15 a.m.

Buffet lunch

Featured speaker
Jan Graupman, executive director
International Institute of Minnesota

Menu
Pan-seared wild Pacific salmon with
fresh seasonal vegetables
and soft polenta. GF 

Plated vegan option
Grilled vegetables with quinoa, champagne vinaigrette,
and chimichurri. GF, DF 

RSVP by September 17
Prepayment of $30 per person.
Reserve and pay online or email Diane Young
Cancellations and refunds will be honored
until September 17.
We are not able to accommodate
registrationson the day of the event. 

Parking
For a discount of $1 per hour
in University parking facilities, use the QR code
on the back of your UMRA membership card when exiting.
Credit cards only.