TITLE: Olive, Again
AUTHOR: Elizabeth StroutPUBLISHER:
PUB. YEAR: 2020
RATING: - 5/5
The sequel to Olive Kitteridge (2008), the prickly Olive is back in her charming town of Crosby, Maine. A retired math teacher, now in her lates seventies to early eighties (she ages a decade in this offering), her husband Henry has passed away and, despite her tough exterior, she's lonely and misses having that human connection.
Like the original book, Olive's story is told through a series of (13) somewhat connected stories involving some of the same characters and some new ones as well. We learn more about her strained relationship with her son and his new family, as well as details about Jack Kennison, a Harvard Alum and new husband to Olive.
I loved traveling along side with Olive through her senior years as she reflects on her life. It's easy to see that beyond Olive's matter-of-fact, blunt style, she a woman with a big heart who faces the same vulnerabilities as other seniors as she ages. She's softened a bit and perhaps a little more tolerant as well, but, by the end, it's pretty clear that Olive is just a woman who is just looking for peace and contentment in the time she has left on earth.
Beautifully written, I found Olive, Again, to be an emotionally moving read. The author does an amazing job forcing the reader to think about the emptiness factor seniors can experience as one ages and the importance of that human connection. The audio was expertly done.