Elizabeth Strout introduced us to Olive in her 2008 novel "Olive Kitteridge," for which she won the Pulitzer Prize.
Olive returns in "Olive, Again." Like the first book, this one consists of a series of short stories - some focused on Olive and some in which she appears as a minor character or only a mention.
This volume focuses more on Olive's life and actions in the fictional small town of Crosby, Maine. She remarried after the death of her husband, Henry. As in the first novel, noteworthy events happen between chapters, such as the wedding and Henry's death.
We see Olive aging (from her 70s to her 80s). Her body deteriorates, but she grows as a person. She begins to recognize the coldness and unkindness she displayed throughout her life. She regrets this and strives to change.
My favorite story was "Helped," about Suzanne - a woman who returned to Crosby after her father's death in a fire. How Suzanne's father acquired her inheritance troubles her, and she contemplates the mistakes in her life and how to deal with them.
Not far behind is "Motherless Child." In this story, Olive witnesses her daughter-in-law publicly scolding her son and realizes she did the same to Henry throughout their marriage. A moment of epiphany sets Olive on a path of redemption.
A few characters appear from Strout's other novels - "Amy and Isabelle" and "The Burgess Boys," which made me want to read these books.
I enjoyed "Olive, Again" at least as much as its predecessor.