Olive, Again

Olive, Again

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red blooded original. When she's not onstage, we look forward to her return..."* And now, indeed, Olive Kitteridge has returned, as indomitable as ever. "It turns out--I just wasn't done with Olive," said Strout. "It was like she kept poking me in the ribs, so I finally said 'Okay, okay...'" Now Olive returns, this time as a person getting older, navigating her next decade as she comes to terms with the changes--sometimes welcome, sometimes not--in her own life. Here is Olive, strangely content in her second marriage, still in an evolving relationship with her son and his family, encountering a cast of memorable characters in the seaside town of Crosby, Maine. Whether it's a young girl coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth at a baby shower, or a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, the irascible Olive improbably touches the lives of others. Elizabeth Strout has achieved greatness by brilliantly laying bare the inner lives of ordinary people, by focusing on the small moments of connection which can dislodge lifelong grief and longing, and unite her characters through moments of transcendent grace. Olive, Again is another lasting work of fiction by this remarkable writer, and a cause for celebration among readers everywhere.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Description: 289 pages ; 25 cm
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780812996548
Branch Call Number: Stro
Additional Contributors: Strout, Elizabeth. Olive, again


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 23, 2020

Olive is a person who speaks her mind with little regard for how it sounds. At times endearing but not always. She feels deeply but seems to have little understanding of herself and others. She ends up being a rather lonely person because of how she judges others but she will say she does not. Now i have to read the first book.

Feb 16, 2020

It would have been a better read if the author had not been so inclined to insert her personal political opinions throughout. I read to enjoy and escape. If I want to hear about politics I'll turn on the TV. Too many characters with their stories left hanging in this book. Olive is her usual self and I did get some laughs from her antics.

Feb 06, 2020

I hadn’t read the first book in this series but it didn’t stop me from enjoying this one. Crusty, old Olive is quite a character. I feel like I have seen different parts of her in people I have encountered over the years. A refreshing change to the types of novels I often read, I quite liked it.

Jan 19, 2020

This was hard to follow and very disjointed. I connected with Olive, the main character, but there were too many side stories that felt obsolete for me.

ArapahoeAnnaL Jan 16, 2020

From NPR - 'Olive, Again poignantly reminds us that empathy, a requirement for love, helps make life "not unhappy."' If you like books, as I do, that encompass ordinary lives and find meaning in day to day life, this book is for you.

Jan 15, 2020

Olive is back at it, taking down criminals and saving the world from total destruction. 🤣 Olive Kitteridge is a no-nonsense woman entering her golden years following the passing of her husband. She navigates her later years in life and muddles through loss and loneliness while encountering a charming and eccentric cast of characters. Olive is gets caught in the middle of some situations as where. There are baby showers and unexpected births, poets with vendettas, new romances, and trying to maintain a relationship with her son. This book feels progressive and reflects the changing times though Olive’s eyes with Somali immigrants, lesbians, and modern family competitions.

I never read “Olive Kitteridge” despite it’s Pulitzer winning status and near universal praise. I thought this was funny, charming, sad, and very readable. I was sucked into this world in Maine quickly, and I enjoyed my time in Crosby. The situations are outlandish but feel grounded. The book is fully of curmudgeonly characters trying to make it from one day to the next in a changing country as they are getting older. I found several parts very sad with a palpable lonliness. The book is mostly a series of snapshots in Olive’s life as she gets older, in chronological order. There are a few stories where she’s a tangential character, but she still has an arc. I really enjoyed the book and I’ve requested “Olive Kitteridge” from the library.

Martha C Benner
Jan 09, 2020

Just did not enjoy this book.

Dec 26, 2019

Please, don't let one reader's comment that Olive, Again is "not an uplifting portrayal of old age," dissuade you from reading, or in my case, listening to this superb book. In the 1st few chapters, I found it to be hilarious, just what I needed during my surgery recovery! However, then it turns to the less bright, if not dark side of life. Most of us experience both parts and many shades in between the dark and bright. So, I persisted to rate it as my favorite 'novel' of the year. Strout has the writing ability to provoke true reflection on life as we find ourselves as older/ old. This is important- who are we? Even if we do know, as Olive does not, there are yet possibilities to stumble through more helpfully to others, just as Olive manages. Amazing. Her Crosby comrades are each & every very real, unique, managing on some level. And, like here in Central Oregon, those around us could use a better friend, & better brief encounters with others.

Dec 23, 2019

Oh, Olive, welcome back! These stories seem like such honest portrayals of both the the weird and everyday experiences of people’s lives and minds. Such simple, true writing.

It was interesting to recognize characters from The Burgess Boys, not an “Olive” book, but, of course, from the same small town of Cosby, ME.

Dec 15, 2019

Like the original Olive Kitteridge book, Olive, again is a series of linked short stories where Olive Kitteridge appears at some stage- a bit like Alfred Hitchcock in his movies. The stories are all set in Crosby, Maine which appears to an Australian reader as the quintessential East Coast American town. Sometimes the chapter is about Olive’s life, at other times she just has a walk-on part with the focus on someone linked to her. What is common to all chapters is a clear-sighted wisdom about human limitations and frailties....

I absolutely loved these stories, and found myself rationing them out to just one chapter a day to make it last longer. Frances McDormand, who starred in the HBO television series now completely inhabits the Olive Kitteridge in my mind as the large, ungainly, abrupt and socially awkward woman who is almost oblivious to her (often negative) effect on other people. But this is an older Olive, who remarries after her first husband dies, and now needs to negotiate her estranged son and his new second-marriage family, with all the nuances of step-vs-natural children. Her health is failing; people are dying; she moves into aged care. Finally, after all these changes, she mellows somewhat.

For my complete review, please visit:

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at BPL

To Top