Emma Gannon's Olive

Tuesday, July 28

"Olive is many things.

Independent.
Adrift.
Anxious.
Loyal.
Kind.
Knows her own mind.

It’s ok that she’s still figuring it all out, navigating her world without a compass. But life comes with expectations, there are choices to be made, boxes to tick and – sometimes – stereotypes to fulfil. And when her best friends’ lives start to branch away towards marriage and motherhood, leaving the path they’ve always followed together, Olive starts to question her choices – because life according to Olive looks a little bit different.

Moving, memorable and a mirror for every woman at a crossroads, OLIVE has a little bit of all of us. Told with great warmth and nostalgia, this is a modern tale about the obstacle course of adulthood, milestone decisions and the ‘taboo’ about choosing not to have children."

I had no doubt I’d enjoy Emma Gannon’s debut novel after listening to her podcast for a few years but I loved every minute of ‘Olive’. 

Olive’s is struggling with her feelings about having children when around her it’s all her best friends can talk about and I found it such a compelling read. It kept me wanting to pick up it constantly so I read it in just over a week and would happily recommend it to everyone. It’s the perfect of example of a book where I didn’t personally relate to the main characters struggles but could still empathise and this is all down to the skill of Emma's writing.

A book told from the perspective of someone who doesn't want to have children is a topic I've never come across and even in 2020 can be a bit taboo. Not only does the story challenge the way women can feel about having children but more importantly how the people around them react. It has made me think about how I should react in the future and that is the power of a great novel. Maybe the ending was a little cliched but I love a happy ending so it was perfect for me.

I also really enjoyed the way that the friendship between the four girls who grew up together, lived together at university and all moved to London has changed as they grow up. Every character was really well developed and it felt like I was reading about a real group of friends

Overall Olive is a sensitive look at adulthood, milestone decisions and the ‘taboo’ about remaining “child free”.

Thank you #netgalley and Avon Books UK for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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