Olive Again ~ by Elizabeth Strout

Olive is older than she was when we left her to her crotchety retirement in the small coastal town of Crosby, Maine where everyone seems to know her, the retired high school math teacher. That was in the book Olive Kitteridge. Now she’s also widowed and grieving. But there’s a guy named Jack who’s hanging around – with Olive’s blessing. Olive is an anachronism in her own life and she almost lives in the past – not quite.

*******
Olive, Again
by Elizabeth Strout
2019 / 293 pages
read by Kimberly Farr 12h 14m
Rating: 9 / literary fiction
*******

Crosby and it’s citizens have other things going on. There’s Kayley Callaghan a 15-year old who lives with her newly widowed mother is cleaning houses and makes some illicit money on the side. And there’s Suzanne who has lost her parents and other things, too many other things. And there’s Bernie who hears people’s secrets, and does his lawyering. Even Bob and other Burgesses (The Burgess Boys) show up. The novel is about loss and secrets including infidelity and death and families and small towns. There are other spotlighted characters – they have personal problems and secrets which are, generally to an extent, shared as human problems and behavior, often troubling.

As with Olive Kitteridge the book is a series of vignettes or spotlights on this or that character, but Olive wanders through the lives of almost everybody while she has her own messy life going on – and opinions about everything 

It’s mostly a gentle novel about gentle people dealing with very difficult personal subjects. It’s a wonderful book.

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