Olive, Again

Olive, Again (Oprah's Book Club): A Novel by [Strout, Elizabeth]    As in the Strout’s first book about Olive Kitteridge, this novel also seems like a string of short stories about people living in Crosby, Maine with Olive as the star.  We meet back up with Olive beginning with Jack Kennison, a widowed Harvard professor who left his professorship somewhat under disgrace when he was found to be having an affair with a student.  Jack is a curmudgeonly, grumbling old man who wanders his large, empty home wondering how it’s all come to this.  And then he meets Olive.  Her irascibility makes him realize she is just what his life is missing at this stage.  At first, Jack and Olive are somewhat brash with each other.  Then they realize they are just the piece each needs to make their life seem whole and meaningful.  Along with Jack and Olive we meet several other Crosby, Maine characters.  Some of them interact with Olive and others exist on the periphery as if Strout is describing various neighbors of a small town in the northeast.  I enjoyed the stories about Olive the most.  And if you choose to listen to ‘Olive Again’ you’ll get the extra treat of hearing the narrator speak Olive’s curt, “Yep” and “Oh, Godfrey” as only our beloved Olive can.

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