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Er who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us to move us and to inspire moments of transcendent grac 45 stars rounded upElizabeth Strout is just a fabulous writer Her ability to weave together a diverse group of characters always fascinates me Her books are a blend between short stories and a novel While I m not a fan of short stories her books always work for me the way each chapter links to the next in its own weird way Olive Again returns us to Crosby Maine Olive and her cronies are now in their 70s and looking back on their lives as much as forward I felt an alliance with Olive She s not tactful although she s trying harder And she s not at ease She struggles to find common ground with her own son let alone his wife and their children As she moves through her old age she finds a way to make things work She becomes accepting I saw both myself and my parents reflected in Olive s efforts to navigate the whole aging process Strout makes every character not just Olive seem fully formed and real This is a small town and while it seems not much happens the book speaks to life in all its variations It was such a rich story it totally drew me in My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book

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Olive Again

The iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but also the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby Maine Whether with a teenager comin No one can write like the incomparable Elizabeth Strout her understanding of what it is to be human and penetrate the beating heart of what comprises a community has a universality that cannot fail to resonate with the reader sometimes perhaps uncomfortably so in the truths it lays bare such as the physically and emotionally taxing process of ageing Olive returns maybe not everyone s cup of tea but definitely mine indomitable outspoken cantankerous a larger than life presence in the lives of those around her an indisputably influential woman even if it is sometimes in the slightest of appearances in the stories that pour forth about the community of Crosby Maine from the pen of Strout Olive lives through her seventies and eighties getting married for the second time to 74 year old Jack Kennison who may find Olive irritating on occasion but loves Olive all that she is the two finding a companionship that eases the loneliness of losing their spouses and getting olderOlive is aware of her shortcomings as a wife to Henry she misses him an ache that never disappears even as her life appears to move on and as a mother to her son Christopher when his family come for a rare visit there is a palpable awkwardness and a moment that opens her eyes as she perceives him as a motherless child but who as becomes apparent later despite everything loves her We encounter a piano playing teenager who cleans homes acuiring cash from a strange and silent transaction with a husband A daughter cannot bear her inheritance from a morally bankrupt father and his profits from dubious investments in South Africa she finds solace and faith in the company of her lawyer Bernie Bernie is finding it difficult to come to terms with many of his morally reprehensible clients whose behaviour he has facilitated through the years There is a family s conflict as it comes to terms with a daughter starring in a documentary of her life as a dominatrix Strout does not shy away from darker aspects of community such as the abuse the toxic families and the challenges of alcoholism infidelity cancer and the feelings of despair the pain and the tears Olive faces regret and loneliness becoming considerably self aware as she ponders over the mystery of who she is and the joys and wonder of love that can sprout from the most unexpected of places Strout is an exuisite storyteller subtle and nuanced who gets to core of a person and a community with a simplicity that is breathtaking and does so with grace humanity and compassion Her portrait of Olive is outstanding multilayered and complex in the way she depicts Olive getting older invisible lonelier but still striving to live connect and learn about herself and others This is a profoundly moving novel captivating in its portrayal of the everyday ordinariness and extraordinariness of its characters an approach that packs a punch in its gut wrenching emotional honesty Simply brilliant and highly recommended Many thanks to Penguin UK for an ARC

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G to terms with the loss of her father a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush or a lawy Introspection Olive Again is a novel that is boldly observant honest and searches for apperception The story of the indomitable Olive Kitteridge follows on two years after her husband Henry s death Olive is a little introspective on how she as a person her behaviour and relationships have evolved as she ages into her eighties especially as she experiences loss and loneliness Two years after Henry s death Olive starts a relationship with Jack Kennison which is touching and meaningful Jack is also a widower with some history where an unfortunate affair and dubious sexual assault claim with a colleague ended his career as a Professor at Harvard University Jack s relationship with Olive develops and while it creates new possibilities and feelings it opens the door on how they behaved towards their respective spouses How they both missed them and how they feel about each other It also sparks the realisation that people hide emotions and worries they can t explain which subconsciously agitates prejudices towards the world Olive is a person who doesn t step reservedly into how she perceives the world and how uick she is to comment about people in it As Jack notes People either didn t know how they felt about something or they chose never to say how they really felt about something And this is why he missed Olive Kitteridge Olive uncloaks her deepest disuieting memories and reflects for the first time that she may have contributed to the broken or strained relationships she had especially with Henry and her son Christopher Considering her marriage to Henry she reflects that as the years passed the distant her heart became and the needier his became Wondering about her son s marriage Olive catches a glimpse of some hidden moments The door to their relationship slightly opening Peering into the interior and seeing what she was not meant to see Her son had married his mother This was how Olive had behaved to her husband not realising that she herself had raised a motherless son The novel delivers what a special book does beyond entertainment it creates the scope to connect the writing to our own stories or those not far away It enables us to view issues through a different lens and wonder are these the events we couldn t face or appreciate We push these notions into the darkest corners of our mind and wrestle with them when we let them loose Several are let loose in this novel with outcomes of remorse pain heartbreak and guilt While I felt the first book had an overarching theme of betrayal this book searches for understanding and resolution and uses various threads to provide amazing glimpses into the difficulties people face in life especially with the burden of illness family misunderstandings or psychological trauma The scenarios are intriguing and captivating and along with beautiful prose and astounding characterisations this book is a joy to read I felt this book was slightly better than the first It was much less a work of short stories and a solid narrative of Olive with threads that expand around herThis is one of my favourite books of the year and it certainly didn t disappoint after the long wait for the seuel I highly recommend reading this book and I d like to thank Penguin Books Viking and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review


10 thoughts on “Olive Again

  1. says:

    Elizabeth Strout is such a keen observer of human nature of our shared condition and she reminds us that life is full of a struggle of some kind for pretty much all of us In Crosby Maine you’ll find characters dealing with loneliness infidelity alcoholism sickness aging death regrets so many regrets Thankfully there also is friendship and love and empathy that Olive Kittridge finds within herself to give because the

  2. says:

    No one can write like the incomparable Elizabeth Strout her understanding of what it is to be human and penetrate the beating heart of what comprises a community has a universality that cannot fail to resonate with the reader sometimes perhaps uncomfortably so in the truths it lays bare such as the physically and emotionally taxing process of ageing Olive returns maybe not everyone's cup of tea but definitely m

  3. says:

    Powerful emotional truthfulness and unforgettable narrative Brilliant novelOlive was aware of ludicrous behaviors unspeakable things spoken but what she did not understand is why she and her son Christopher shoul

  4. says:

    Introspection Olive Again is a novel that is boldly observant honest and searches for apperception The story of the indomitable Olive Kitteridge follows on two years after her husband Henry’s death Olive is a little introspective

  5. says:

    Edit After receiving backlash for my subjective opinion on this novel I don't even bother to reply to your negative comments and I report and delete all the comments from fake accountsOnce again I didn’t do my homework an

  6. says:

    “When you get old you become invisible It’s just the truth And yet it’s freeing in a wayYou go through life and you think you are something Not in a good way and not in a bad way But you think you are something and t

  7. says:

    45 stars rounded upElizabeth Strout is just a fabulous writer Her ability to weave together a diverse group of characters always fascinates me Her books are a blend between short stories and a novel While I’m n

  8. says:

    In a knot in a knotScrunching twisting sighing instead of hopping on my pogo stick It just didn’t do me like the last one did sung in a bluesy voice Oh this book is good very good a 4 star read in fact and it’s sitting on my 2019 Runners Up shelf as nice and happy as it can be So it’s nuts to sound so disappointed It’s just that the magic wasn’t there like it was in Olive Kitteridge the moments when the words and the sentences da

  9. says:

    Four impeccably intercepted sad depressing self discovery stories circled around a memorable literature character starsOur one of the grumpiest most straightforward sullen cantankerous grouchiest characters of fictional world is back Frances McDormand did an amazing job to help me visualize this woman nobody can be better Olive than

  10. says:

    I'm not sure if Elizabeth Strout ever has need of a bodyguard and if she does I'm sure she wouldn't choose a short brunette female in her 40s but if she ever needs someone to protect her life I would like to offer myself up as the bes