Discussion Questions by :

This story begs the question of nature versus nurture. Obviously, Eleanor wasn’t brought up in a loving, thoughtful environment that gave her tools on how to deal with the world. But is there any evidence that she might still have been socially awkward even had she been born to “normal” parents? 

The men and women at Eleanor’s workplace don’t make an effort to be compassionate and understanding of her. In fact, the way they act towards her is reminiscent of immature middle-schoolers. Why don’t some people have a better acceptance of those who stand out because they are different?

When Eleanor talks to her mother once a week despite the past and present emotional abuse her mother inflicts on her, do you wonder why she continues to do so?

Do you think Eleanor needs to make peace with her past or forget about it to move on?

What are the first signs that Eleanor is starting to see life from a hopeful perspective? 

Eleanor has no social reference from which to interact with others. Yet, she suddenly decides she can have a meaningful personal encounter with a rockstar. How does her chosen “project” change the direction of her life?

When Raymond shows an interest in Eleanor do you find yourself rooting for him? Why? What is interesting about their interaction?

What are some other pivotal experiences that cause Eleanor to grow?

Does the surprise twist at the end change your opinion of Eleanor and her perceived state of mental health or lack of it throughout the book?

Did Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine leave you feeling uplifted and hopeful or concerned and doubtful?