Monday, February 19, 2018

Five Quotes I Loved from "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman

Every now and then a book comes around that I don't just like, I LOVE - obsessed, even. It is my new favorite, and I want to tell the whole world about it, screaming from the internet rooftops about the glory that is this amazing book. And that's definitely the case with my recent read, "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman. SUCH an amazing book, which SO MANY breathtaking moments that I want to share with you! These quotes also might be helpful if "Eleanor Oliphant" was your book clubs pick for the month. These quotes could facilitate a great book club discussion session about the novel. Check out the video above, or keep reading, for quotes from "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" that I love! 

Quotes from "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine"

"Was this how it worked, then, successful social integration? Was it really that simple? Wear some lipstick, go to the hairdressers and alternate the clothes you wear?... I had had more attention from them today (non-malevolent, positive attention, that is) than I'd had in the last few years. I smiled to myself, pleased that I'd unlocked part of the puzzle."

Oh, Eleanor, you are such a relatable character, and this revelation of hers was definitely one that spoke to me as a woman. Part of the charm of the main character in this novel is just how oblivious she is to social norms that we all just seem to learn early on in life. And part of the humor in the novel is how she experiences the realizations that we had in our early teen years, as an adult. But also this quote shows that Eleanor sees and is affected by the negative attention that she receives when she doesn't do those things, and your heart breaks a little bit for her. Eleanor did not have friends or a  mother who could help guide her in learning the "puzzle" of social norms, and I think there are a lot of people like her. This book does an excellent job building empathy because it shows you just how helpless her character truly is in the face of what she doesn't know, and how carelessly hurtful judging her for that is, as well.

"These magazines could tell me which clothes and shoes to wear, how to have my hair styled in order to fit in. They could show me the right makeup to buy and how to apply it. This way, I would disappear into every woman acceptability. I would not be stared at. The goal, ultimately, was successful human camouflage as a human woman."

"Successful human camouflage as a human woman", oof and also sign me up! Another relatable moment and quote from Eleanor Oliphant. I'm definitely an introvert and that "camouflage" is more like armor for me. An on trend dress or haircut gives me courage and makes me feel like I belong. Or as Eleanor would say, I can "disappear into every woman acceptability". This quote also really makes me admire Eleanor. Up until this point her life, she hasn't had the armor or camouflage that I find so essential. She truly is a brave and strong individual in my eyes for having made it so long without it, because I just can't imagine!

meme of wolf pack quote

"The thing is, Eleanor, you need an ankle boot with skinny jeans, really," she said, as seriously as though she were a hospital consultant giving medical advice..."

There are many laugh out loud moments for me reading "Eleanor Oliphant" and this was one of them. I am far from even considering myself knowledgeable when it comes to fashion, but I do know this fashion "rule" and can *totally* see this interaction playing itself out. I pictured Eleanor at Nordstrom or Neiman Marcus getting an earful from one of the personal shoppers for not knowing something so "essential". There are several moments in the novel where someone working in a store gives her a tip like this, and while these rules are silly, it is also inspiring to see how just a little kind nudge makes a huge impact on Eleanor, and how we all have opportunities in our day to help others by showing kindness.

meme of devil wears Prada quote

"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 it if they ever did."

The relationship between Eleanor and her family, or the lack thereof, is a huge part of this novel, and this quote stopped me in my tracks. This quote is from later in the story and at that point, I had totally fallen in love with her as a character, and this moment is just so desperately sad. I wanted to be sure to include because while there are numerous light and hopeful moments in this book, they are also poignant because of just how sad the undercurrents of this novel are as you learn how Eleanor came to be as she is.

"When the silence and the aloneness press down around me, crushing me, carving through me like ice, I need to speak aloud sometimes if only for proof of life."

Quotes like this one and the next show just how incredibly difficult the main character's life truly is each day. At the start of the novel, Eleanor spends very little time interacting with other people. She goes to work, and is socially isolated there, and then each weekend purchases a large amount of alcohol to drink, alone, and then starts her week over again. The author, Gail Honeyman, was inspired to write the book after reading an article about chronic loneliness and the effect that can have on someone. This novel does an excellent job doing just that, and also all of the small ways we can help so that no one has to live that way!

" often feels as if I'm not here, that I am a figment of my own imagination. There are days when I feel so lightly connected to the earth that the threads that tether me to the planet are gossamer thin, spun sugar. A strong gust of wind could dislodge me completely and I'd lift off and blow away, like one of those seeds in a dandelion clock."

meme of Simpsons quote

Have you read Eleanor Oliphant? Share your favorite quote below! And even if you haven't read this one yet, let me know your favorite quote from the ones I selected from the book. Is there one that you found particularly relatable or poignant? Let's chat! And as always, thanks for reading, readers! ❤ 


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