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  • Judith D Collins

Olive Again


By: Elizabeth Strout

ISBN: 0812996542

Publisher: Random House Publication Date: 10/15/19

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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 PEOPLE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Time • Vogue • NPR • The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • Vanity Fair • Entertainment Weekly • BuzzFeed • Esquire • Real Simple • Good Housekeeping • The New York Public Library • The Guardian • Evening Standard • Kirkus Reviews • Publishers Weekly • BookPage

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.”


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Praise


“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


“In the first chapter of Elizabeth Strout’s Olive, Again . . . the man who will become Olive’s second husband writes, ‘Dear Olive Kitteridge, I have missed you and if you would see fit to call me or email me or see me, I would like that very much.’ Jack Kennison might be speaking for fans of Strout’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge, which inspired an Emmy-winning HBO mini-series and now this sequel. However, like its iconic heroine, this book is capable of standing alone. . . . [Olive] is as indelible as the ink on Jack Kennison’s paper. If you know Olive, you know how she would respond to the hoopla: with an eye roll and an ‘Oh Godfrey.’ It’s good to have her back.”—Elisabeth Egan, The New York Times Book Review


“Strout dwells with uncanny immediacy inside the minds and hearts of a dazzling range of ages: the young (with their confusion, wonder, awakening sexuality), the middle-aged (envy, striving, compromise), the old (failing bodies, societal shunning, late revelations). . . . I have long and deeply admired all of Strout’s work, but Olive, Again transcends and triumphs. The naked pain, dignity, wit and courage these stories consistently embody fill us with a steady, wrought comfort.”—The Washington Post


“In thirteen poignant interconnected stories, Strout follows the cantankerous, truth-telling Mainer as she ages, experiencing a joyful second marriage and the evolution of her difficult relationship with her son. In her blunt yet compassionate way, Olive grapples with loneliness, infidelity, mortality and the question of whether we can ever really know someone—ourselves included.”—People (Book of the Week)


“A magnificent achievement on its own terms . . . We see Olive acquiring a view of herself, and coming to recognize as valuable the other people who grant that vision. In the process, she shares in the alchemy that she continues to perform for us and elicits our unexpected, abiding love.”—The Boston Globe


“Strout has created one of those rare characters . . . so vivid and humorous that they seem to take on a life independent of the story framing them.”—The Guardian


“The lovable, irascible Olive Kitteridge is back. . . . In this novel—set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing Maine, ravaged by opioid addiction and economic neglect—Strout wields great pathos out of life and all its attendant tragedies.”—BuzzFeed


“Strout aims the spotlight on her wry heroine and the characters of Crosby, Maine, in another book that’s sure to have you flipping pages long into the night.”—Bustle


“Olive, Again returns to Olive and the town of Crosby to do what Strout does best: find meaning in the tiniest and most mundane details of everyday life.”—Vox


“Strout has said that she doesn’t know why readers like Olive so much, except that she is complicated, like all of us. But I think we all have had an Olive in our lives whom we never got to know. Mine was a teacher named Gertrude. It is Strout’s genius to reveal them to us in all their idiosyncratic glory. Olive, again? Oh yes, I do think so.”—Ann Treneman, The Times (UK)




About the Author



Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine and New York City. Website

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