Olive, Again

Olive, Again Summary

NEW YORK TIMESBESTSELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions.

“Strout managed to make me love this strange woman I’d never met, who I knew nothing about. What a terrific writer she is.”—Zadie Smith, The Guardian

“Just as wonderful as the original . . . Olive, Again poignantly reminds us that empathy, a requirement for love, helps make life ‘not unhappy.’”—NPR 

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLEAND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY TimeVogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune Vanity Fair • Entertainment Weekly BuzzFeed  EsquireReal Simple • Good Housekeeping • The New York Public Library • The Guardian Evening Standard • Kirkus ReviewsPublishers WeeklyBookPage
Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming 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 lawyer 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 us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”

Praise for Olive, Again

“Olive is a brilliant creation not only because of her eternal cantankerousness but because she’s as brutally candid with herself about her shortcomings as she is with others. Her honesty makes people strangely willing to confide in her, and the raw power of Ms. Strout’s writing comes from these unvarnished exchanges, in which characters reveal themselves in all of their sadness and badness and confusion. . . . The great, terrible mess of living is spilled out across the pages of this moving book. Ms. Strout may not have any answers for it, but she isn’t afraid of it either.”The Wall Street Journal

Book Reviews


Love Olive4 star

I thought this was an excellent sequel.45


Laughter5 star

This book was filled with points that filled me with laughter55


Strange and Sad.1 star

Very sad. I kept reading it ... thinking there had to be a point .. beyond reminding all of us that we are going to die. Sorry, I just don’t think that we need that reminder. Strange and sad.15


Olive Again Review5 star

Olive Again was sweet and rather poignant. We get to see Olive in a different light. Now she’s at the end of her life and has become reflective. It’s a place that hopefully we will eventually face.55


Olivia again1 star

Stupid book. After reading thousands of books this is a political and sad one. Sorry15


Love Olive5 star

Real, beautifully written.55


Prickly Olive is As Lovable As Ever!4 star

It's wonderful to pick up a book that so immediately and skillfully plunges you into the small, everyday events that make us all human. Just like her first book (Olive Kitteridge), Elizabeth Strout takes us into the orbit of Maine-born-and-raised Olive -- now older, retired, and just as prickly and wise. Like the first book, this sequel reads like a series of short stories about individuals in and around the small town of Crosby, Maine. Some are Olive's former students. Others, her neighbors. But each has a deeply touching story to tell about the everyday pain people routinely carry, their own resilience, and the kind of love and relationships that brings meaning to our lives. Whether it's a young woman visiting the burned down ruins of her family home, or a Civil War enthusiast who uses the dog to speak to his wife, or the residents of an assisted living facility struggling to find community -- each has a valuable and emotional story to tell. All of them, connected in some way to crusty but lovable Olive. Highly recommended.45


Anticlimactic2 star

If you are looking for a page turning, this is NOT it. This is one of the most boring books I have ever read. There is nothing special about any one character. For the most part, many of the characters lives are painfully boring. There is not a message or overarching theme. Like other reviewers said: this book has snippets of stories from random characters that might be connect to one another? My girlfriend and I downloaded this book because Oprah recommended it but I know realized it was all a publicity hype to sell the book. Well I’ll tell you I am not longer following Oprah’s book recommendations. Also, there are so many grammar issues in this book, it finitely feels rush.25


Aweful1 star

This book was a big waste of my time. No joy reading this book nor did it have anything valuable to say. The prose was simple and not enjoyable.15


Good but Not sure how it all ties3 star

Good content but the chapters seemed random and not sure how it all ties together.35

Other Books by Elizabeth Strout

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Olive Kitteridge
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