Cover Image: Olive


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Member Reviews

I was surprised how much I enjoyed this - it was so readable with short chapters and relatable content, whilst tackling some big subjects surrounding pregnancy/autonomy. One I’d rec to all my friends for an easygoing and pageturning read!
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A thought provoking story about friendship, motherhood and growing up, I adored this book and felt it was the perfect read for anyone feeling like they are at a different point in their lives from their friends. A must read.
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I have been there. I have been on the receiving end of the "Oh, you'll change your mind one day." conversation. Well I'm 38 and I have been feeling this way since I was about 6 and rejected playing with dolls for reading books. It's not that I don't like children. I am a boss aunty. I just don't want one of my own. And it is this subject that is the topic of Emma Gannon's debut novel Olive.

Olive and her three best friends do everything together however their friendship is challenged when their lives careen off in different ways. When the issues of motherhood come up it further drives a wedge in the friendship as both sides fail to fully understand how the other side is feeling. 

What is genuinely lovely about this book - besides feeling like I have found my tribe in book form - is that these characters fight so hard for each other. Their lives are not the same as when they were young, foot loose and fancy free but their love for each other is something that they refuse to give up on. 

I loved this book and at the moment Olive is my hero.

Olive by Emma Gannon is available now.

For more information regarding Emma Gannon (@emmagannon) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Harper Collins (@harpercollinsuk) please visit their Twitter page.
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** ARC provided by Netgalley via the publisher in exchange for an honest review. ***

Having read Olive, I think I am the target audience. I'm the same age as Olive and am also choosing not to have children. However, Olive doesn't necessary come across as the most empathetic individual and so I found her hard to identify with. Good holiday read!
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Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins this was a wonderful book 
I moved from my usual crime & thrillers as I needed a change and am so glad I did
This was a great read. Olive is such a nice character to care about . The issues she deals with are so common to people but very rarely dealt with and done in a sensitive way.  I hope Olive comes back again and we get another book.
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I loved this book - Olive and her girlfriends are such relatable characters, you can't help but be immersed in their story. I'll definitely be looking for more work from this author
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I loved this book! It was a refreshing look at what it means to want children and motherhood in all its different ways. I loved Olive as a character, and her friendships. It was a realistic portrayal of growing up, and growing apart in your friendships but ultimately still being there when it really matters. I feel like this book will bring comfort to a lot of women.
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(3.5⭐️) I loved this. A strong female protagonist talking about women’s issues truthfully. Olive and her 3 best friends were like peas in pods but as they grew older all wanted different things in life. I really enjoyed the different perspectives on motherhood and fertility that the 4 characters highlighted. Making the choice to have children isn’t black and white and you should never feel pressured into doing so. I did find it slightly repetitive hence the rating - and I felt her friends were really mean at times. But overall I enjoyed and would recommend to women in their 20s! Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for allowing me an early arc!
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With thanks to Net Galley for my advance copy

I read this novel in a couple of days. It’s a page turner, perfect for a day at the beach. But at the same time I was disappointed - especially given all the glowing quotes at the beginning of the book. The topic of choosing not to have children is one I haven’t seen covered in popular fiction before but Olive, our heroine, is rather unsympathetic, constantly making bafflingly poor decisions and isn’t easy to empathise with.

Olive and her best friends are in their early thirties and their lives are beginning to differ - one has three children, one is a new mum and another is desperately trying to conceive through IVF. Olive herself has just ended a long term relationship because she doesn’t want children and her ex did.
These friends fall out with each other a lot, and unfortunately seem to be a cypher for different parts of the female experience rather than believable characters. At times the dialogue offers too much exposition and not enough character development. There are some odd descriptions and narrative choices - a widowed father describes a new relationship as ‘the best few months of his life’ - better than proposing, marrying and having his children? - and there are loose ends left unresolved (e.g. the badge).

The quotes about childlessness interspersed between the chapters show how much society is biased against women who choose not to have children and made me wonder if this book would have worked better as a collection of real women’s experiences.
Yet despite all this I found the ending quite moving - I was left feeling that the novel’s original concept was a missed opportunity for better character development and editing.
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This book is about the main character and her long standing friendships which are now showing some strain. Each of her friends is on a different path and I am sure every reader will see parts of themselves in parts of every character. (continued)
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This was a cute story and I believe a lot of readers will rleate to the main character. I loved the message it sent and I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a light, fun read with a positive message. Uplifting. Thank you for my ARC.
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It was truly refreshing to read this book. Sometimes it felt a little heavy handed on the "it's OK to jot want children" agenda, but as the book progressed I realised a lot of that was the behaviour of the protagonist learning to not justify her choices.

I say refreshing because this book demonstrated the weird and wonderful ways old friends can grow apart and have to learn to love each other and respect each others choices. I have old friends, friends I am so, so lucky to have grown into adulthood with and who know me in ways that feel solely reserved for them. And I have talked with them so many times about how it is weirdly hard sometimes to let go of my expectations of what our lives would be now, of the expectations I think they have of me.

We bang on a lot about how important friendships are. They are work though. Seriously, my longest friendship is going on 25 years now. We are not who we were five years ago, let alone the dreams we shared as children. This book details the growing pains that comes with, the work that goes into the friendships you want to maintain.

It also strongly focuses on the choices women have in the UK, in 2021, regarding children. I am lucky. I have more genuine choices than many women across the world now, let alone my ancestors. This array of choices is still, socially speaking, so new. It is hard to not feel defensive, no matter your choice. I didn't love all the ways that played out in this book, but I did love the discussion, the insecurity on show, the point being made that we all need different things to gain fulfillment or deem ourselves successful.
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And here I am again, in the minority. 

I really didn't like this book.  I felt that it was badly written.   Very badly written.  The kind of book that you would expect from a 19 year old who is trying to write as though they are in their late 30's. 
I didn't feel as though any of the characters had anything about them and the way that the title character treated her "friends" was just vile. 

I am amazed that I finished it. 

Zero stars rounded up to one because I have to.
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Olive is one of those brilliantly written books with a character that is so well drawn and complex that you feel they are completely real. A mesmerising read which keeps the reader turning the page long into the night - cannot recommend more highly.
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Olive was a really great read and I was gripped right from the beginning. Being a similar age to Olive and also not wanting kids, I did find her character relatable and found the relationships with her friends so interesting. The writing was great and I was really surprised to find out this was a debut novel. Despite there being a few heavy topics it was a very enjoyable read and found it hard to put down. On reflection I was a little bit disappointed by the ending considering she never wanted kids and then ended up being a maternal figure to her partners child. Also there was a couple of bits when Olive's character was just so rude and nasty and even though I can understand her frustrations I didn't think it was necessary. Those gripes aside, it was good and I look forward to seeing what is next from Emma Gannon.
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An interesting read that I'm glad to have discovered. I'll definitely be seeking out more by this author.
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I really enjoyed this book, I had seen it making the rounds on Twitter and didn’t know too much about it going in but was pleasantly surprised. The writing is well paced and often gave me a laugh, the characters are relatable and likeable. A lovely read.
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Olive by Emma Gannon is a lovely contemporary novel based on the friendships of three women and how their lives diverge as they grow from young adults to women. Central to the storyline is Olive’s lifestyle and choices. She knows that she never wants to have children and this conflicts with her friends’ views and causes tension along the way. Ultimately it’s a story about how strong female friendships can be. It’s a satisfying read.

Thanks to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read this book.
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It's really exciting to find a book like this. Olive is an easy to read, contemporary and relatable story with a really heart warming message to it. The characters are all so special and unique and the storyline of Olive coming to terms with not wanting children of her own while she is surrounded by friends moving in different directions is so relatable and important for young women. Thank you for writing this book Emma, it was one I needed to read.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harper Collins for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This was an enjoyable read. I wasn't too sure at first but soon found myself going with the story and really enjoying it. Its not a storyline that I've come across before and found it quite interesting to see a different side of what we could call a big life experience. 

Definitely recommended. 

Thank you Netgalley.
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