I read the whole book, but I was tempted to stop several times. For me, there were too many characters and it made for a confusing read. I'd rather have a book where I do not have to concentrate so hard to keep track of who is doing what. I really did not care for it much and really could not recommend it.
This book appeared on my wish list for a long time. I was excited to receive my copy and eagerly began reading. My excitement began to wane after the first couple of chapters. I appreciate what the author attempted to do through the use of multiple viewpoints, but generally found the story to be quite flat and the characters rather predictable.
This review would probably get me banned from most book clubs in America but, truth be told, I thoroughly disliked this book. My opinion..... A boring book about boring people. I only finished it because we DID read it for our book club. As always, it was a lively discussion, but only one of our members enjoyed it. After hearing the rave reviews, I was at least relieved that I wasn't the only one who didn't like it.
I was looking forward to reading this book due to the great reviews I had encountered. It was on several "best of the year" lists. I really did not like it, yet couldn't put it down. Does that make any sense at all ? I felt that its central theme was, "life sucks and then you die" and this book really depressed me. But it also made me think. Hard. About relationships I have had and am having. It is superbly written. Short story format, which I haven't read since college, but Olive is at least mentioned in every story and it is an interesting way to reveal a character. You will NOT forget Olive for a long time.
My book club read this book. While we had widely varying opinions as to how we felt about Olive and the other characters, we all agreed that this is an extremely well-written book, compelling and difficult to put down until the book is finished. This lent itself to one of the best discussions we have had in several months. I couldn't stop reading the book, even though it is not happy or uplifting - I had a sense of sadness throughout the book. Again, it is very well written, and the technique of telling a series of stories from various viewpoints works. Some are from the vantage point of other members of the community and Olive is a small part of the story; in many others, the story is told from her point of view. This lets the reader discover aspects of Olive's life and personality that you would never learn if the entire book was told from Olive's perspective.