Olive Again (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel Audiobooks Summary
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.”
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.
Novel by the American author Elizabeth Strout Audio books Reviews
First of all, you do not have to have read Pulitzer winning, “Olive Kitterage”, or seen the Emmy winning HBO series starring Frances McDormand, to thoroughly enjoy Elizabeth Strout’s follow up, “Olive, Again”, though I predict that you will want to.
The success of the book and HBO series rests on Strout’s perfectly imperfect character, Olive. She is entirely unique and readers have a variety of reactions to her, mostly contradictory because she is. She is hard-nosed somewhat stereo-typically a cold north easterner, judgmental and blunt. She is also compassionate, sarcastically witty, and loyal. I’ve always thought that it would be difficult to be friends with Olive, but worth it.
“Olive, Again”, like its predecessor (and like the two “Lucy Barton” novels Strout has penned in the interim), is a collection of inter-related stories about the denizens of Crosby, Maine, particularly in relation to Olive Kitterage. We meet some familiar characters, but also a few new ones. There is a disturbing story of a young girl who cleans houses and a strange relationship that follows. I was especially touched by the continuation of a story from the first book that relates a poignant conversation between the sister of a murderer and her parent’s lawyer as she returns to Crosby and her memories of growing up there. Evidence of Olive growing as an individual is in a piece where she visits a former pupil who has cancer. I loved these conversations so much because Olive reveals a lot about her marriages. Plus, it’s quite funny! Happily, one section brings us up to date on the Burgess boys – another of Strout’s novels!
I didn’t think of this eleven years ago when I first “met” Olive, but this re-acquaintance has made wonder if Olive is on the “autism spectrum”. Is she ignoring social cues, or is she missing them? Is her bluntness and thoughtless disregard for “niceties” because she doesn’t understand the need for them? Several times she does show empathy and concern for others’ feelings, but these episodes seem to come as a shock to even her. In any case, Strout beautifully “grows” Olive in this wonderful new novel. I knew I needed more Olive and I am thankful that Strout did, too!
It’s a fast read even though I tried to slow down and savor it! Strout is such a wonderful writer, Frances McDormand is such a wonderful actress, let’s hope another HBO series is in the works!
Listen To Olive Again Audiobook Mp3 Streaming
Olive, Again is a novel by the American author Elizabeth Strout. The book was published by Random House on October 15, 2019. It is a sequel to Olive Kitteridge (2008), which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In November 2019, the novel was selected for the revival of Oprah’s Book Club. Similar to the first novel, Olive, Again takes the form of 13 short stories that are interrelated but discontinuous in terms of narrative. It follows Olive Kitteridge from her seventies into her eighties.
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