Angela M's Reviews > Olive, Again

Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout
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it was amazing
bookshelves: netgalley-reviews

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 truths about life are dauntingly sad at times. More than once I stopped between stories to take a breath. This is Crosby, Maine, the small coastal town where our old friend Olive Kittridge lives. In reality it could be anywhere, but of course it wouldn’t be the same unless Olive was there. She’ll tell you exactly what she thinks about you in brutally honest words. She’s not the best wife or mother and honestly she can be pretty brash, but it becomes obvious, though, that in spite of the things she says she cares. I found at times her softer side, her more vulnerable side that aren’t alway evident. I can’t say I liked Olive very much when I started reading Olive Kitteridge, but by the end of that book I realized how many people she had positively impacted as a teacher and as a neighbor. And by the end of this book, I thought how lucky some of these characters were to have Olive in their lives and I felt for Olive as she endures her own challenges.

As in the first book, Strout skillfully weaves separate stories together, with Olive as the thread, but these books for me felt like novels. On the one hand it’s Olive’s story as she reaches her seventies and eighties . She’s older and maybe a little more self aware, but always trying to understand herself. She’s the center of a number of the stories and we come to know more about her as she comes to know more about herself. Some of the stories will give you that gut punch, when Olive comes to painful moments of recognition about her family, her friends and acquaintances and of course herself. In some of the stories she makes a real connection and engages with another character and only makes an appearance in others. Crosby and this book are populated with realistic characters, including Olive who are filled with fears, flaws, frailties that are easily recognizable in ourselves. What can I say about the writing, other than its impeccable. I felt the pull of these characters from the opening lines of pretty much every story. Strout is a fabulous story teller and is on my list of favorite writers. I definitely recommend that Olive Kitteridge be read first in order to fully appreciate the place in her life where Olive has come at the end of this book.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley.
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Reading Progress

December 20, 2018 – Shelved
December 20, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 18, 2019 – Started Reading
June 21, 2019 – Shelved as: netgalley-reviews
June 21, 2019 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 131 (131 new)


JanB Olive Kitteridge is one of my all-time favorite books and I'm beyond excited that there's sequel I didn't know about! Adding


Angela M Jan , I loved Olive too . I just found out when a few friends had added it. Can’t wait . I’ve been checking for an Arc but haven’t seen it yet in NetGalley or Edelweiss.


JanB Angela, you got the ARC! I’m green with envy but happy for you 👏🏻 I hope you love it, I’ll anxiously watch for your review!


Angela M Jan, I was so excited when I saw it on NetGalley and that I got it . I have a number of Arcs publishing before this one but I had to start it now !


message 5: by Iris P (new) - added it

Iris P Hi Angela (and JanB), I have to admit that I am a little bit envious! Hope you are enjoying it!


Angela M Hi Iris ! It is definitely Olive all over again! Terrific so far .


message 7: by Connie (new) - added it

Connie G I'm looking forward to your review, Angela. I loved the first book about Olive.


Angela M Connie , I think you’ll love this one too .


message 9: by Jen (new) - added it

Jen I love this cover and I need to read this first one. Can’t wait for your thoughts, Angela!!


message 10: by Shelleyrae (new) - added it

Shelleyrae at Book'd Out I want to request this one, but I need to read the first book first!


message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Looking forward to reading your thoughts on this one, Angela!


Angela M Jen and Shelleyrae, I would recommend that you do read the first one before this ,


Angela M Thanks, Melissa. Trying to find the words !


JanB Angela, yay, I see it’s finally available for request so I’m crossing my fingers and my toes I’m approved 🤞🏻I felt the same way about Olive Kitteridge as you did. And I’ve read it three times. I might make it a 4th just to refresh my memory.

Exceptional review Angela!


message 15: by Laysee (new)

Laysee I’m delighted to see the five glittering stars, Angela. Olive in this book sounds exactly like the Olive I remembered in the earlier book, and I look forward to knowing her better. Lovely review.


Angela M Jan, thanks so much ! Fingers crossed you get it. I read the first book quite a while ago before I wrote reviews so I’m not sure why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars . I very seldom reread books but I did go to Wiki to read chapter summaries of the first book to refresh my memory. I think if I did reread it , I would probably give it 5 stars. I really hope you get a copy , otherwise I’ll have to wait to see what you think!


message 17: by Raul (new)

Raul Bimenyimana Wonderful review Angela. Can't wait to read it.


Angela M Laysee , thanks so much. Olive is very much the same but I think both older and wiser .


message 19: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi A lovely review, Angela! I adore Strout's writing and can't wait to read this one :)


Angela M Raul, thanks very much . Hope you enjoy it too .


Angela M Candi , thanks so much . She’s definitely a treasure among contemporary writers.


message 22: by Tim (new)

Tim Great review, Angela. My wife's about to read this.


Angela M Thanks, Tim . Tell Gemma that I hope she loves it !


message 24: by Margitte (new)

Margitte Great review, Angela! Sounds like a wonderful choice.


*TUDOR^QUEEN* OK, you've convinced me. I'm getting into trouble this Saturday morning, reading stellar reviews and requesting/downloading more books! I have a kindle credit on amazon and if I get approved for this on NetGalley I'm going to buy the original book and read it first, as you suggested. Wonderful review! :-)


Tammy Yet another in my pile that I need to move closer to the top. Terrific review, Angela


message 27: by Kaceey (new)

Kaceey Wonderful review Angela!


Angela M Margitte, Tammy and Kaceey, thanks so much!
TQ, sorry to get you in trouble- lol! I’m glad you have a credit. Well worth spending it ! Thanks so much.


message 29: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa Great review Angela!


Angela M Thanks, Lisa,


message 31: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie I am so GREEN WITH ENVY right now!!!!


Cathrine ☯️ Great review A. I haven't read the first one but watched the film version which I loved. I may just skip right to this one.


message 33: by Patricia (new) - added it

Patricia Williams Loved the first book and the TV movie.


Angela M Aww, Julie. You have it to look forward to! As soon as I knew it was going to be published, I checked Netgalley almost every day !


Angela M C, thanks! I loved the movie too and I think it did a good job of depicting the Olive we meet in the book. If this second one is made into a movie , I hope Frances McDormand will be in it. I pictured her as Olive throughout this one .


Angela M Me too , Patricia . Thanks .


message 37: by Beata (new)

Beata Thank you, Angela, for this wonderful review :)) I hope to read Book 2 as, though I only watched the movie with Frances McDormand, this time I'd like to READ the novel :)) All it's all to Ms McDormand masterful acting that I want to 'meet' Olive again :)


Angela M Thanks very much , Beata!


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Fantastic review, I will have to skim the first book before I read this one :)


Dorie  - Cats&Books :) Angela M wrote: "C, thanks! I loved the movie too and I think it did a good job of depicting the Olive we meet in the book. If this second one is made into a movie , I hope Frances McDormand will be in it. I pictur..."

what movie? where can I see it?


message 41: by Laura (new) - added it

Laura Thanks for a wonderful review! Can't wait to read this. 💙


Krista Great review Angela! I'm so glad that I got approved for this book.


Angela M Dorie, thanks ! It was an HBO series several years ago .


Angela M Thanks, Laura and Krista!


message 45: by Maureen (new)

Maureen Wonderful review Angela! 🌷


Paromjit Have this to read, Angela......lovely review, so looking forward to it! 💗💞


message 47: by Julie (new) - added it

Julie Angela,
Is it available yet?


message 48: by Nicola (new)

Nicola Wonderful review Angela! I had the pleasure of reading two of her novels recently and loved them! I’m really looking forward to reading more of her work! 😊


message 49: by Susanne (new)

Susanne  Strong Wonderland review Angela!! Someday I feel like I should read this series of books!


message 50: by ☮Karen (last edited Jun 22, 2019 03:05PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

☮Karen Oh so happy for the 5 stars. I agree with your assessment of Olive, she really did care about people. The movie version of her I did not like as much as the book and dnf it.

I just requested it... Random House usually likes me but will see.


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