Olive, Again

Olive, Again

Book - 2019 | First edition
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And now Olive returns, this time as a person getting older, navigating her next decade as she comes to terms with the changes--sometimes welcome, sometimes not--in her own life. Here is Olive, strangely content in her second marriage, still in an evolving relationship with her son and his family, encountering a cast of memorable characters in the seaside town of Crosby, Maine. Whether it's a young girl coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth at a baby shower, or a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, the irascible Olive improbably touches the lives of others. Elizabeth Strout has achieved greatness by brilliantly laying bare the inner lives of ordinary people, by focusing on the small moments of connection which can dislodge lifelong grief and longing, and unite her characters through moments of transcendent grace. Olive, Again is another lasting work of fiction by this remarkable writer, and a cause for celebration among readers everywhere.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780812996548
Branch Call Number: FIC STR
Characteristics: 289 pages ; 25 cm

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e
empbee
Nov 25, 2020

To read Elizabeth Strout is like having my favourite dessert. Her style is fluid, seemingly simple, without hypocrisy but full of humour, healthy sarcasm, honesty.

LPL_SarahM Oct 22, 2020

A solid sequel to Olive Kitteridge. Here we see Olive in her final years as she navigates loss, new friendships, and old grudges.

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sgcf
Oct 01, 2020

This collection of interlinked stories features ordinary people, skillfully made real by Strout, and always Olive Kitteridge …sometimes tangentially, sometimes it’s all about her. Olive is presented in the later decades of life as she navigates her senior years as a gregarious, feisty, opinionated woman who says it as she sees it. I appreciated how Olive began to self-reflect as she aged and came to some insights with the shadow aspects of her character. The book deals with themes of aging, loneliness, and approaching death in the last few decades of some characters. Strout’s prose is economical and fluid in this portrayal of a slice of genuine humanity.

r
redtayres
Sep 20, 2020

Elizabeth Strout writes as I can only dream of. Her writing is straightforward and direct. Reading her words, I never feel like she's deserted any effort. This is a smooth trick to master and she's done it. I first became acquainted with Olive Kittredge seeing Frances McDormand play her is the HBO mini-series. Surprisingly, I so enjoyed this portrayal, this story, that I sought out the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name. Seeing this continuation of Olive's story brought me joy' reading it brought even more joy. I wish this story, this character, this book, would go on endlessly. Like life itself, I imagine there are so many more stories to tell.

s
sarahsz1
Aug 30, 2020

I loved this book. Loved the honest portrayal of aging, especially the honest discussions of aspects of aging that most people don't discuss so openly. I loved the reflections on life, relationships, self-acceptance and uncertainty. It all felt real and resonant.

i
Indoorcamping
Jul 29, 2020

After reading all the Elizabeth Strout books, I didn’t want to read this one! It’s the last. You know she’s not coming back again, Olive that is, and I didn’t want to say goodbye. Although when I first read Oliver Kitteridge, I didn’t feel this way. In between, I’ve realized that fiction is a beautiful way to learn how to be a better person and how to live your life. Before I thought that was only possible through fact-based stories based on what really happened in someone’s actual life. Fiction is made up and nobody likes to be lied to.

Good fiction, though, is like a swim in a cool river on a hot day. You need it to lose yourself for a while, to enjoy being alive, to feel what it’s like to let go and let someone else take control of your brain. And this author is incredible in the way she sucks you in to her beautiful small town world and takes you through situations where you can’t help but going along with all of it and carrying it in your head for a long while afterward.

Olive Kitteridge is one of those stories where you wonder why you love her so much. Until you realize that she’s honest, insightful, caring, and lovable in an old-fashioned, small-town New England way.

I re-read Olive Kitteridge again just to familiarize myself to the characters and to get lost in them again for a while before reading this, and in addition, just read all of the author’s books in the last month or two. Good thing because even characters from her first book return and tie up their loose ends in this book. It was beautiful to see them again, getting old, finishing up their life, seeing how they ended up. And yes, I know it’s not real, but it’s really good.

If I can suspend belief to lose myself in fiction this gorgeous, it must be good. It’s like enjoying the sunrise on a park bench when the leaves are turning orange while drinking your favorite hot beverage. What could be better?

e
EljayJohnson
Jul 02, 2020

Everything literary fiction should be: wonderful writing, subtlety, strong voice and character development, thoughtful and thought-provoking themes to ruminate on. Olive Kitteridge will go down as one of the most incisively drawn of modern literary characters.

k
kathylock
Jul 02, 2020

The flow of the book was disorganized and jumped around too much. So parts were written well, but others dragged on. I would not recommend.

a
amahof7
Jun 10, 2020

Olive marries a fellow from the town she lives in a few years after her 1st husband Henry, dies. She is the same indomitable woman she’s always been , but those whose lives she crosses are enriched by interactions with her. the story weaves together the lives of townsfolk with Olive and of her with her son and his family. She ages gracefully with a friend Isabel, who lives in the same apt/ care centre that she lives at and they develop a real friendship.

c
cheriemoses
Apr 29, 2020

Although I enjoyed the first Olive book, this one seemed very disjointed. The forays into the lives of so many people did not hold the story together as a whole in any way. I felt this was an attempt to write more about a a fascinating character, but too much filler made it tedious. I found I just skipped over some of the stories as it began to feel like a collection of short stories, unresolved ones, rather than a novel. Generally I really like the writing of Strout.

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amahof7
Jun 10, 2020

During a discussion of faith with a young woman having cancer treatments, Olive says: “I think our job-maybe even our duty-is to-To bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can”
Pg 204-“When you get old, you become invisible. It’s just the truth. And yet it’s freeing in a way.
Her companion says, “Tell me how it’s freeing.”
“Well,” Olive was slightly taken aback; she didn’t know how to explain it. “It’s just that you don’t count anymore, and there is something freeing about that.
I don’t think I can explain this well. But you go through life and think you’re something. Not in a good way and not in a bad way. But you think you are something. And then you see that you are no longer anything. You become invisible and it’s freeing. “

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