If you are looking to tackle Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine with your book club, I applaud your choice!
This is a fantastic debut novel by Gail Honeyman. She manages to deal with a lot of heavy topics with a wit and humor that feels rare.
She also has a unique writing style where even though the story is told all through the inner thoughts of our (almost anti-)heroine, it still is full of surprises.
If you are on the fence, a look at this full review of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine might help.
If you know you would like to discuss the novel, here is a full list of book club questions to get you started!
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine Book Club Questions.
1. At the beginning of the book, Eleanor has a very strict routine to keep loneliness at bay. What do you think of her routine? Why is her life particularly lonely?
2. Most people who interact with her find her odd. What aspects of her personality do you think are unusual? What do people maybe misinterpret?
3. Why do you think Raymond treats Eleanor differently than others have in the past? How does this relationship change her?
4. One of the quotes from Eleanor says, “If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say”.
Do you think this is true? If so, why is that what we do?
5. Eleanor falls “in love” with her musician instantly, sure he is the key to unlocking a new world for her.
Have you ever had a similar experience of thinking something different on the outside (a person, new clothes) will make you feel differently on the inside? What was that like?
6. Almost from the beginning of the book, Eleanor hints that something very bad had happened to her in the past. Did you have any theories about what the secret might be?
7. Does the way Eleanor speaks and thinks make you a fan of hers or not? Why?
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8. How do you feel about Eleanor’s relationship with Mummy? Do you agree that having a mother, even a bad one, is better than none?
9. What do you think of Raymond and Eleanor’s relationship evolution in the book? What do you think might happen after the book ends?
10. Raymond brings Eleanor a cat to help her heal, and she immediately bonds with it. Do you agree having someone or something like a cat depend on you changes your life? How so?
11. What did you think about the big reveal at the end of the book? Did it change your opinion about Eleanor?
12. What parts of the book had you laughing out loud? What parts had you feeling sad?
13. Did the book surprise you at all? In a good way or not?
14. Would you want to read more books by Gail Honeyman in the future?
15. Did this book remind you of any others you think people might enjoy reading?
Looking to make reading a more regular thing? Why not start a book club! Check out my article on How to Form a Book Club for tips on creating the ideal club for your lifestyle.
Did you read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine for your book club? What did you think? Leave me a comment below about how the questions and book worked for you!