ARC Review: ‘Olive’ by Emma Gannon

410tWS-oxILOlive is many things. Independent. Driven. Loyal. And a little bit adrift. She’s okay with still figuring it all out, navigating her world without a compass. But life comes with expectations and big choices to be made. So when her best friends’ lives branch away towards marriage and motherhood, leaving the path they’ve always followed together, she starts to question her choices–because life according to Olive looks a little bit different.” (Amazon)


Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my e-copy of this book. 

Review of Olive by Emma Gannon

My rating: 4/5

Emma Gannon’s Olive is a great debut, with many relatable characters. I found myself highlighting my favourite parts at moments as I followed Olive’s story.

This is the second book I read in recent times about expectations, friends slipping away and the life in your thirties being quite different than we imagined. Not everything is sorted. You are not a complete adult a hundred per cent of the time. And things get messy. Olive is such an honest, at moments funny, at moments heartbreaking narrative from Olive’s point of view.

Olive and her group of friends have been very close growing up and during university, but in recent years, a lot of things has changed. They all started settling down and having children. And Olive starts feeling like she’s a little bit left out, alone and like her goals are not as much important as those of her friends who are talking about children at all times.

When we meet Olive, she’s just broken up with her long-term boyfriend and she needs her friends. And yet, she’s unable to share her struggles as everyone is living in their own little bubbles focusing on their families, children or wanting children. Olive doesn’t want that, the motherhood not in her future by choice, and yet she feels constantly undermined by everyone suggesting that she’ll change her mind. I love how despite expectations and pressure from society, she stays true to herself throughout the novel and finds her own path.

I loved how though Emma Gannon’s book focuses on motherhood and relationships and whether you’re choosing to have kids or entirely opposite, the friendship between Olive and her group friends is at the heart of the story. Their changing dynamics throughout the years and trying to navigate the friendship as their life evolves and they don’t have that much time for each other as before is what makes Olive a great and captivating narrative.

Emma Gannon’s Olive has definitely been one of the most enjoyable contemporary books I’ve read this year. I would definitely recommend this book.

Who is the book for: Olive is a book for anyone looking for an honest and warm contemporary focusing on friendship. The book is getting released on 23 July, and you can get your copy here.


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