Olive Review | Books

olive cover

This week, I have another book review for you all – being on furlough really gives you a lot of time to read!

Before I dive in to it, I just wanted to say that in light of current events and inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, I want to make a concerted effort to consume more content, including books, videos and podcasts from black people and POC.

Although I do try to read/watch/listen to a broad range of voices, taking a look at my bookcase & my podcast library recently has made me realise just how much of it is made up of white faces and white voices.

If there are any books or podcasts that you can recommend to me, please, please drop me a comment below this post.

This week’s review is all about Olive, a marvellous book which focuses on the difficulties of being a woman in her thirties who decidedly does not want children.

Who wrote it?

Emma Gannon – she’s a Sunday Times Bestselling author, don’t you know?

How long is ‘Olive’?

416 pages in the hardcover version. It’ll go by so quickly, you won’t even notice you’ve read over 400 pages!

So, what happens?

Olive finds herself out of touch with her circle of best friends who are settling down and having children (or trying for a baby). Her choice to live a child-free life ends her decade-long relationship and makes her feel quite isolated from her friends who are all discussing pregnancy, IVF or babysitters.

What are my thoughts? 

As a female reader in her late twenties, Olive really resounded with me.

Through her witty commentary and wonderfully-drawn characters, Emma Gannon highlights the difficulties women still face and the societal pressures placed upon them to ‘change their minds’ over having children.

Olive can’t seem to find a way in to any of the conversations her friends are having and struggles to tell the people closest to her about her break-up with Jacob as she is increasingly aware of the issues going on in their lives regarding motherhood.

All of the characters, but particularly Olive, are drawn as complicated, contradictory people which just seemed so human and relatable and made the book a captivating read.

For me, Olive was a breath of fresh air. I could hear echoes of conversations I’ve had with my own friends within the dialogue.

I would have liked to have enjoyed more time hearing about Olive’s life towards the end of the novel. However, this is a superbly written book that I will be recommending to my friends.

Thank you to NetGalley & HarperCollins UK for allowing me to have a preview of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Final verdict

4/5 – a relatable read that feels like a chat with a good friend. 

What are you reading? Let me know, 

Allie x 


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