Narrated by Sian Clifford
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Pub Date Mar 09 2021 | Archive Date Mar 09 2021
Andrews McMeel Audio | Andrews McMeel Publishing

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The debut novel about the life-changing choices we make about careers, love, friendship, and motherhood from bestselling UK author Emma Gannon.

Olive 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.

Moving, memorable, and a mirror for anyone at a crossroads, OLIVE has a little bit of all of us. Told with humor and great warmth, this is a modern tale about the obstacle course of adulthood and the challenges of having—and deciding not to have—children.
The debut novel about the life-changing choices we make about careers, love, friendship, and motherhood from bestselling UK author Emma Gannon.

Olive is many things. Independent. Driven. Loyal. And a...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format, Unabridged
ISBN 9781524865566
PRICE $25.99 (USD)
DURATION 8 Hours, 48 Minutes, 13 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 181 members

Featured Reviews

Would definitely read this author again! A great read! I was very surprised with this book as I thought it would be the usual light romantic holiday read. Not a heavy read, but very enjoyable.
Funny with a touch of realism that we can all relate to.
I found it thought provoking and it rang so true regarding thirty something relationships with friends at different places in their lives. These felt like real people with real lives and stories.

I found the narrator easy to listen to, thank god, as I’ve had some good books ruined by awful ones.

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Olive is many things, but a mother is not one of them. When her friends all come down with baby fever, Olive feels pressured to live up to the expectation that women are put on this earth to mother. Olive wants to advance her career, to drink herself into a stupor when she feels like it, travel, and spend her money however she sees fit. Olive does not want to be a mother; truly has no urge to bring another human into the world. But how will this impact her relationships? And what if she changes her mind (also, why does everyone assume she will)? A sentimental story about navigating the transition into adulthood and all of the stereotypes and expectations that come with it.

I had no idea how much I needed this. I have been reading a lot of very heavy books lately and I chose this for something a bit more lighthearted. It ended up being so much more than that. As a woman who has never wanted children (and is consistently told that I will change my mind), I could relate to this so much. In all honesty, I didn't even like to be around other kids when I was one so I certainly never had the desire to welcome a child into my life. I am judged for this constantly. I am told at work that my "needs are different because I don't have a family" and "now just imagine if you had to go home and care for a family after work." I am not an orphan, I have family. It just doesn't look the way YOU think it should.

"Do we not care about women with no maternal feelings in society? Must we change them, or disregard them?" I can tell you from my experience, the answer to all of these is yes. If you do not have or want children, you are treated as less-than. 'My body, my choice', as it seems, only matters in regards to basic birth control conversations and not long-term life choices. Child-free by choice (CFBC) is considered to be selfish, and maybe it is, but it is still a choice that any individual has the right to make.

To have a character who had the same experience was incredible. Honestly, it was just want I needed right now. But what I enjoyed most was the variety of perspectives. Bea & Cecily's adventures into motherhood, and most importantly, Isla's struggle with infertility. I feel like up until recently, this was something that was so rarely talked about and I think it is an important discussion to bright to the forefront. The struggles between Olive & Isla were heart wrenching. They both felt so strongly about wanting/not wanting children and still wanting the best for their friend who felt the exact opposite. I know exactly how Olive felt when she was trying to explain to Isla that just because she doesn't want children doesn't mean that she doesn't want Isla to have them.

Bottom line: What I think everyone should take away from this book is that we are all different. We have different ideas of what our lives should look like. We have different experiences, perspectives, hopes and dreams. None of them are wrong, they are just different, and that's ok.

The only negative, from my perspective, was that I sometimes found it difficult to follow. I wish it would have flowed chronologically, instead of jumping around haphazardly. I may feel differently when I purchase and read a physical copy (yes, I liked it THAT much), but from an audiobook perspective...it was a bit challenging.

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Whilst I don’t think I was the target audience for this book, I did enjoy the listen and story told. The narrator is very authentic, and I felt like I was listening to a friend gossip at some points. The topics covered throughout aren’t seen very commonly, and I felt Gannon covered them very well. There are a few trigger warnings, and there was one minor storyline that I have personally experienced and don’t think it was discussed fairly, but it didn’t tarnish my opinion of the book.
I look forward to see what Emma Gannon releases next.

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What a lovely book. I really enjoyed listening to Olive's story. As a young woman, it is incredibly relatable- especially in terms of relationships and growing up. I recommend for those who love realistic stories!

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I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Brief synopsis: Olive and her three best mates have always been there for each other, but these days Olive feels like an odd one out. As Bee, Cess, and Isla have all been focused on starting families, Olive is wrestling with whether she even wants to have children. Throughout the book we follow Olive as she tries to sort out who she is, and what she wants. There were so many things I loved about this book, but a few really stand out:

The Friendships: I love reading about a tight-knit group of friends, and these four did not disappoint. The women in the book all take different approaches to life, relationships, and motherhood, and each is going through a critical period in their lives. The stress of the decisions that weigh heavily on them, and the changes that seems to be happening constantly, put stress on their friendship and they have fights. But, and this is the crazy thing, those fights ARE NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. At the end of the day, their relationship is more important, bigger than one bad moment, and I loved that. It was so refreshing to read a realistic portrayal of female friendships where real women have real problems and deal with them in real ways.

Child-free rep: I think Olive’s inner struggles are very real, and a lot of women can relate. On the other hand, a lot of women who are child free might feel differently. What I appreciate about this book is it never claims to represent the views/desires of all child free women. It’s just Olive’s story, and what she goes through.

People with jobs! I’m a sucker for a character who is exceptional at their job, and Olive does not disappoint. She not only has talent at her job as a journalist, she shows good judgement. Every time I thought she was going to make a Bridget Jones-esque work faux pas or violate her professional ethics...she instead just went about her job like a grown up and eventually gets promoted for her skill and competency. You love to see it! There were some references to “showing up late and no one noticing” but we don’t actually see that behavior. Typically she’s working late at home doing research for stories, staying late, and hating the weekends because she prefers a productive workday.

Overall, this was a wonderful quick read, light but thoughtful, and I highly recommend it. The audio book is also a gem.

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Firstly, I want to thank NetGalley and the publishers for letting me listen to the audiobook.
Olive is in her early thirties, has a job that she loves and three best friends. Her life seems to be great, almost perfect, until she realises that everything around her is making her feel like she is “different”. She, unlike her friends, doesn’t want a big house filled with toddlers. She likes her city life, in the chaotic London, going out at night and getting home drunk.
Olive portrays a type of girl that is very often brought into question.
I really appreciate the story, it has been a surprising read, though sometimes a bit sad.
I am 22 years old so I do not feel this pressure right now, but I hope to create my own family one day. It is always very interesting to find out other point of views, as we all have different opinions about this topic. Probably in the future I’ll find myself wondering if I shall have kids or not… who knows!

Also, when I saw that the narrator was Sian Clifford (Claire in “Fleabag”), I couldn’t lose the opportunity to listen to it. She is perfect! How she makes you feel all her emotions, make you understand her thoughts. I am wondering if she identifies in Olive, in some ways.

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Thank you NetGalley for this ALC. A stunning novel about a woman struggling with societal pressures to be a mom when she just doesn’t want to. Through the book, we follow a group of friends that each has a very different experience with being a mother. I loved how the author looped in the main character’s career as part of the story - she did research and wrote articles about the topic of not wanting children. There were some very sweet quotes and some laugh out loud one-liners too. Being a woman is hard, and quite often we are faced with societal pressure to do something because “that’s what everyone else does”. It was refreshing to hear a perspective that was different, and empowering. It takes some educating, but the friends come around.

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*Thank you to NetGalley for the advanced audio copy for review*

Olive by Emma Gannon was a great book. It’s told from Olive’s perspective and she’s a 30 something who doesn’t want to have kids. She’s just broken up with her boyfriend and feels like she can’t tell her close friends. Her inner circle are each married and either started families or trying to.

I appreciated that the author peeked into the lives of varying degrees of motherhood and their ups and downs. It wasn’t in depth, but it wasn’t just purely focused on anti-baby either.

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What can I say about Olive? As the character, I loved her. She knew what she wanted and she wasn't afraid to express it, albeit respectfully. As to the audiobook, I thoroughly enjoyed listening it. The topic was close to my heart (Olive choosing not to have children) and when I was in my late twenties, early thirties, was also asked 'why not?' and told 'you'll change your mind' etc. All the while this book also dealt with friendship, motherhood and the pain of not being able to conceive and wanting a baby so much. I like that the chapters jumped from past to present, thus relating her story as she evolved. It was a great listen and the narrator was fabulous! I really recommend this audiobook 😊

Thanks to the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for an ARC of this audiobook to review.

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This is the perfect book for anyone feeling behind their friends in life, especially for those in their mid 20s and up, and I cannot recommend it enough. Everyone has been there and everyone has felt overwhelmed with social “milestones” and life choices. More specifically, there is a certain taboo that comes with choosing to not have children.

(potential spoilers ahead)

OLIVE focuses a lot on the main protagonist’s decision to be child-free. OLIVE is the perfect balance of quirky, imperfect characters, and real-life. This book is not only based on Olive’s journey to come to peace with her decision to remain child-free, but explores common topics re: societal norms.

I think one of my favourite parts of OLIVE was Gannon’s portrayal of the intricacies of friendships that Olive and her three best friends face as they choose different paths in life and try to find the balance between their friends, families, careers, and relationships. Regardless of your choices in life, I think this book does a great job at sharing sides of the story we do not always get to hear, such as choosing to remain child-free in life.

I loved how this book shared the real-life feelings someone experiences when trying to navigate their life choices with what “they should do”. Gannon’s writing left me feeling frustrated and sad along with the four main characters as she explores themes of marriage, infertility, careers, friendships, and relationships.

A friendly reminder that it’s not okay to judge people on their choice to have or not have children. You never know what people are going through with fertility, health, and personal choices.

content warning: infertility

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Olive by Emma Gannon tells the story of Olive as she navigates her decision to be child free by choice while her close friends begin to move on toward marriage and motherhood. I really appreciated the representation in this book for a character who chooses to be childless as this is not something frequently represented in literature. I enjoyed following along as Olive questioned her choices. I also enjoyed that each of Olive's friends had a different struggle represented in the book. A friend who has children but is losing her marriage, a friend who wants children but is having difficulty conceiving, a friend who isn't completely thrilled with her motherhood experience. This book highlights the differences in female experiences. This story is told exclusively through Olive's perspective and inner monologue, and I would have loved to have multiple perspectives to highlight and experience the differences in the struggles of the more central characters.

The audio narration was done by Sian Clifford and was excellent. The emotional content of the story was conveyed in the narration and I am glad that I listened to this one as I feel like it helped me to connect with Olive.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ALC. This did not affect the contents of my review, and all opinions are honest, voluntary, and my own.

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In her early thirties, Olive, has a successful career writing for .dot magazine while living in London with her long-term boyfriend, Jacob. Their relationship ends abruptly after a casual conversation turns serious and Olive advises Jacob that she doesn’t want to have children and she doesn’t think she’ll change her mind.

She and her three best friends from university are moving in different directions. Olive doesn’t want children; Bea married her university boyfriend and has had her three children early; Cecily, a lawyer, is about to give birth to her first child, and Isla, who has suffered from Endometriosis all her life, is undergoing IVF to become pregnant. One of the ideas Gannon explores in her novel relates to the challenges relationships face when friends stop having so many things in common.

By shining a light on the sometimes uncomfortable realities of being “child-free by choice” (CFBC), motherhood and infertility, Gannon exposes them and gives us the opportunity to discuss them with each other. There is no right or wrong way and there are many ways to live a fulfilled life.

With wit and insight, heart and humour, “Olive” will reassure young and older women who are child-free by choice that they are not alone. As Marion Keyes writes: “It’ll give a voice to countless women”. “Olive” is a beautifully written and brave book.

Actress Sian Clifford, the audiobook’s narrator, reads perfectly, her voice matching the voice one might expect Olive to have. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the audiobook version.

A huge thank you to @NetGalley and @AndrewsMcMeel for an audiobook review copy in exchange for an honest review.

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I listened to this story, rather than reading it and I really liked the narrator. It is the story of Olive, age 33, who does not want kids and the effect that has on her relationship and her friendships. Listening to the story was at times a little confusing as it is not told chronologically but jumping back and forth, showing more clearly how Olive's friendships have evolved. The story finishes with closure, so I don't expect any kind of sequel.

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to listen to this story in return for an honest review.

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I’m so glad I decided to listen to this book! I always enjoy Emma Gannon’s perspective and research. Olive is an honest and emotional look at the decisions women wrestle with as adults. The characters aren’t as lovable as they are relatable. I guarantee you’ll see a part of yourself in at least one of the four friends. Olive gives a voice to a group of women who are often overlooked— those who are child-free by choice.

This book is for you if you’re:
- Feeling like you’re the only one and having trouble trusting you own life’s timing
- Struggling to come to terms with drifting friendships and navigating being in a different chapter of your life from your friend group
- Dealing with pressures surrounding motherhood
- Into character-driven novels where the focus of the plot is the main character’s flaws or alternating timelines with single narrator

What I didn’t like:
- Parts of the story felt a bit repetitive and unnecessary. There were a few chapters I could have skipped entirely.
- Lack of diversity. This book felt very white and middle class.

Content warnings for mentions of infertility, abortion, miscarriage, death, alcoholism, infidelity, divorce, toxic relationships, eating disorder, and therapy.

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Olive by Emma Gannon

I liked this book. A relevant female issue novel. Being a CFBC myself.... constantly fielding questions from family, defending my personal decision, and finding myself plagued by self doubt at times. I identified with the character and appreciated the perspective.

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Thank you Net Galley for an early audio copy!!

This book was honestly the book I never knew I needed. As someone who doesn't know where she will be in 10 years or whether children will be apart of that, it was honestly a breath of fresh air. 'Olive' shows how people who choose to not have children are treated, but also shows in smaller aspects the struggle of being a parent as well as being someone who struggles with infertility.

I honestly connected with two of the characters, and it was honestly was empowering to read this on International Women's Day. I will definitely pick up another one of Emma Gannon's books ASAP because her writing it absolute perfection!!

Though some people won't agree with this review, because maybe they aren't the targeted audience or won't understand the struggles in this book, I definitely recommend it.

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Happy #PubDay to Olive by @emmagannonuk! 🎉

Huge thank you to the author and to @netgalley for reaching out with a free audio-ARC of this book. All opinions are my own.

If you've been keeping up with me for a while, you may remember I read Gannon's non-fiction "Sabotage" back in November and felt kind of meh about it. Not good. But not really bad either. So I'll fully admit that I was a little hesitant to try Olive, but as a debut fiction read, I thought I should try it out. And I'm glad I did.

The story revolves around Olive, who is of prime baby-raising age but who does not want kids. To some, thats a controversial choice and for a lot of people with children it can seem strange. Olive has been strong in her conviction, even letting her last relationship end due to the topic. However, her friends are the same age so of course babies everywhere!

This book had at least a little bit of everything, when it comes to babies/motherhood: Child Free, pregnancy/newborn, older children, married parents, single parents, surrogacy, IVF, etc. While it was fully relatable because of the different viewpoints, I would possibly warn those who may be struggling with infertility.

Overall, I'm glad I gave this author another chance. Olive was light, easy to read, and about an important topic of adulthood.


#books #bookstagram #bookblogger #bookworm #booknerd #bibliophile #bibliophilebesties #caffeineandkindles #ireadpastmybedtime #cantcontrolmyshelf #imallbooked #WhatImReading #NetGalleyReviewer #ARC #audiobook #Olive

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I'll be honest that I jumped into this book without really knowing what it was about -- but I like Women's Literature and often enjoy a strong or empowering female lead. This book is about Olive, a 30-something Londoner (by the way, I loved the narrator's accent and the British vernacular, "plasters" and "kerb") that has hit a major cross-roads in her life, most of her closest friends have children, are having children, or want children and she is pretty certain she does not. What ensues is her journey to figure out how to live with this decision and how not to destroy her closest female relationships.

I am sure that as a 40-something working mother of a teenager, I was not Gannon's idea of "target audience" as I have obviously chosen differently than Olive. However, I think it is very important for women to take on each other's viewpoints about intimate topics such as child-rearing. I have many girlfriends my age and older that have made the decision to not have children (or their own children) and are living healthy and productive lives. I know better than to pester them with questions about this lifestyle choice and I know not all of them have "decidedly made the choice" and some have just not had the opportunity to make it work out. However, I am so thankful that they have loved me through my child-rearing (corning the end of her really being a child) and I love them through their Singleton lives. This title reminded me that we must not impose our opinions about such intimate life choices on others.

I went back and forth between the Kindle Version and the Audio Version of this book -- but really enjoyed the narrator in the audio version more!

Thank you Netgalley & Harper Collins for this ARC copy of both the digital and audio of Olive by Emma Gannon.

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This is an interesting book, touching several important subjects such as women's fertility, marriages, relationships, careers, and friendships.
It's the story of olive, a 33 years old woman who has decided to be child-free, although her decision affects her relationship with Jacob.
After losing her boyfriend, olive starts to realize that her relationship with her friends, Bea, Isla, and Cecily, has changed. With her friends having children of their own and focused on their own lives, olive feels alone with no one to talk to. She doesn't realize that they have problems of their own, so she starts acting differently around them.
I was not a huge fan of the main character (olive). In my opinion, she was too self-centered, acting as a teenager and not realizing that with more responsibilities and important things to do her friends can't act the same way they used to when they were in school.
What I like the most was the fact that the author discussed an important issue. Talking about the pressure society have on women, expecting them to reproduce when they have the freedom to decide whether or not they want children.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of olive in exchange for an honest review.

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5 ⭐️
I loved this book. For a 30 something single woman like me, the book spoke to me. I could relate to the main character Olive on so many levels. The way she was so focused on her career, breaking up with her boyfriend of 10 years when all her friends were married and with kids, her choice to be childless, trying to figure out her future and trying to adjust to societal expectations of her.
Her experiences were realistic and didn’t feel fictitious because there were many I too faced, her struggles with relationships and friends, doubting the future and feeling so alone. Made me realize people are not really what they seem on the outside. The best thing about the book was that it didn’t give me false and unrealistic expectations of how my life should turn out.

I read the Audiobook version narrated by Sian Clifford and I loved it. I could hear the emotions and expressions Olive felt in the book.
Thank you #NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing for providing the advance audiobook copy.
#NetGalley #bookstagrammer #Olive #audiobook

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Right, I struggled with this book a little bit at the start. The topic is a bit heavy and therefore at times I had issues listening to the book.
The topic of whether or not one wants children is a big topic and something I feel like people always judge others by. I couldn’t really empathize with Olive about her not wanting children since I’ve always wanted them but the book still the book intrigued me. The other topics in the book like friendships and how we as human change over the years. I also feel like this book fits fully into today’s society as women are fighting harder than ever to have control over their own bodies without judgement.
I had a hard time liking Olive at first. I didn’t much like any of her friends either. I feel like they all only thought about themselves and how they are feeling. But I guess that is the point of it. For Olive to fully embrace her wants and feelings without having to thing about how other people see her and also for her friends to come to terms with their own problems and then support their friends in their lives no matter their choices.
The audiobook was pleasant to listen to. I feel like the narrator fully embraces Olive’s persona and brings her to life. I also think that I would have probably DNF this book had I not been listening to it

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Olive - Emma Gannon

I have read so many mixed reviews on this book, but was very keen to read it myself and I'm so glad I did! I personally found it very relatable and heartwarming as it's a topic that is very close to my heart and you don't read about very often (or even hear it being discussed to be honest) and I think this is why the reviews are so mixed. The subject topic is such an individual choice that I think everyone would have their own views and opinions on it (none which are either right or wrong). I really enjoyed listening to the book in audiobook format and now need a physical copy for the bookcase. Many thanks to NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Audio for allowing me the chance to read and review this book

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Olive (Olivia but no one calls her that except for her mother), is an editor at Dot Magazine, is recently single and does not want to have kids. However, it seems her friends from her youth cannot understand her as they are all having or trying to have children themselves and Olive feels like the odd woman out. To make things worse, her relationship has recently come undone, and she cannot even find proper timing to tell her friends that this has happened, and perhaps find some support as a result. Her Editor-in-Chief has given her an assignment to write about the phenomenon of Millennial choosing to have pets over children, which begins to open Olive's eyes to the fact that she is not alone. We follow Olive on her journey from misery towards happiness as she explores this article, meets new people and becomes more comfortable with the choices she makes.

Olive is a wonderful listen. The story is likable, as are the characters and the reader gets a bird eye view on a topic we do not get much exposure to in novels. Watching the choices the characters make in love, career, friendship, etc. makes for an extremely interesting and engrossing story. The author writes in such an honest, life giving voice, that you feel like you know these woman by the time you are done. The narrator has a wonderful voice, making it an overall excellent experience to listen.

Thank you to Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Audio for the opportunity to listen to this book in exchange for my honest review.

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“OLIVE is many things, and 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 fulfill. 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.”

This was a quick read for me. And although I did not particularly like Olive as a character (I found her to be self-centered and childish), I do feel that many women will be able to relate to her when it comes to the everyday pressures women face surrounding motherhood. To note, I felt that common misconceptions surrounding women who choose to not have children are also further emphasized through Olive’s character which did bother me.

Olive chooses to not have children and it seems that everyone has opinions and comments on that. Really plays on the feeling of being the “odd” one out which I think many women will be able to empathize with.

“Olive” explores friendships as they stand the test of time, adulthood, motherhood, and change.

*Thank you NetGalley for my free ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

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Olive by Emma Gannon is about Olive a 32 yo magazine editor who is strong and independent, and who doesn't want to have children, Olive's relationship of 9 year has just ended over it. Olive has no maternal urges. She doesn't, in her own words, feel any fertility flutters. She is so sick of people telling her she would change her mind. She is sick of being seen as selfish by outside world for not committing to motherhood. The recent issue of her magazine is dedicated to exploring what it means to be child free by choice. She reads forums and talks to people from the "Child Free by Choice" community. She basically seeks assurance that more woman feel like her and that she is not being over dramatic and that she has a right to explore her fears and uncertainties that her decisions might haunt her later in life.

Even though Olive has never wanted to have children she suddenly feels consumed by the decision of not having them. She thinks this may be due to the fact that her best friends are such different places in their lives. Bea has three kids and such a natural at parenting, Cecily has just had a baby and Isla is trying to have one herself. While Olive doesn't want to burden her friends with her recent break up drama, she expects more support from her friends.

I find this book very unique and quite insightful. Even though I am a mom who struggled with infertility in the past I understand where Olive was coming from. There were many points made in the book that I wholeheartedly agreed. Like becoming a mother doesn't have to be a milestone for every woman and having children doesn't guarantee unconditional love or someone to care for you as you get older. The conversations between Olive and Bea, Jacob, Isla and Dorothy were all so honest, and moving and at times heartbreaking. She broke up with Jacob, though she still loved him so deeply, because she didn't want to take something so huge from him. Instead of walking on eggshells around Isla who is struggling with infertility and Olive was able to speak her mind and expressed her true feelings. I loved that Olive stayed true to herself.

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I bumped this read up to a 5-stars because I thought Emma Gannon did a great job at making this relatable and stayed on topic! That may seem like an obvious type of requirement in a story, but many novels, I find, give too much detail or throw in unnecessary scenes all in the name of character/plot development. I thought the personal growth of Olive and her girlfriends from young girls to adult women while using motherhood as the focal point was great. This was not a typical type of chicklit/rom-com but instead a true story about friendship. I also enjoyed that we see Olive struggle with her choice as it does not seem like one of popular opinion, and stick to what she believes in. Maybe because I am around that age and have felt/been through what Olive and her friends experienced, I was able to really immerse myself in their story. Great read!

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This is an important book that explores what it is to not want a child in a world that expects women to all become mothers at some point in their lives. The author presents us with multiple different perspectives on women and motherhood while never being judgemental. I believe this book could start very important conversations that need to be had in society about free choice and the pressure that women feel to become mothers. Women are allowed to make their own choices in life without feeling like they will be criticized. A really great, poignant fiction book by Emma Gannon.

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This book was a slow start for me but overall I really enjoyed it. It was a book that I could really relate with and felt myself questioning the things I want or do not want in the future, feeling like whatever decision is going to be ok.

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I couldn’t wait to listen to this book. I can’t remember another book that tackles the subject of women who choose to remain childless. Olive watches as her life doesn’t track that of her 3 friends, one of whom has 3 kids, one is pregnant and one is trying IVF to become pregnant.
Gannon tackles the subject compassionately. Olive has her reasons for not wanting children, some of which struck me as somewhat frivolous. But the primary one is that she just doesn’t have that maternal instinct. And not all of us do. As someone who also chose to remain childless, a lot of this hit home. It’s hard being told that I somehow had something wrong with me, that I would change my mind, that I’d feel differently if the child was mne..
Olive has just ended a ten year relationship with Jacob because he wants kids and she doesn’t. She has to be the adult because he thinks there could be a compromise.
It’s a very realistic story. Everyone has problems, each choice brings its own set of issues. No one is always likeable.
I did get a kick that the ending (as far as Olive’s love life goes) worked out just as mine did.
This was a debut novel but it didn’t read like a debut. Gannon is a broadcaster and Webbie nominated podcaster and has written a business book. And it’s probably this self confidence that comes through in her novel.
Sian Clifford narrates and was perfect for the role.
My thanks to netgalley and Andrews McMeel Audio for an advance copy of this audiobook.

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The premise of this debut novel is amazing. Emma Gannon covers everything you could want from a women’s fiction novel - love, friendship, career and ambition, and motherhood. Olive is making some big life-changing decisions, like deciding not to have children. Set alongside - and sometimes against - her three lifelong best friends, Olive must decide for herself what her future will be.
I’m so glad that Gannon has released a book that represents the different types of motherhood. Why is it so rare to find in fiction? Independent, outspoken, loyal and career-driven - so many readers will find themselves in Olive’s character. I enjoyed the contemporary plot line, based in busy London, and the incorporation of the modern struggles of communicating through WhatsApp.
One shortfall of the novel, for me, was the shift in the friendship, Pitched as a lifelong friendship, with snippets of younger memories, the interactions and reactions of the characters didn’t always align with that idea. I was also left wanting more depth from the other characters and their feelings.
Overall, a great novel about life choices, adulthood and motherhood.
I would recommend this book to any lover of Sophie Kinsella or Jojo Moyes.

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Such a beautiful, sweet novel that I highly recommend! It has great characters, a moving story, and overall is a great read

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I found this audiobook very interesting. It is the first time I have read about someone who really didn't want to have children and why they didn't want to have children. I liked the main character Olive and her friends and I enjoyed finding out about their lives and how their friendship changed over the years. The story opened my eyes and mind to a new way of thinking that I had never explored before.

The narrator of the audiobook was very good and I enjoyed her telling of the story. The netgalley app also worked well for me.

Many thanks to the author, publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

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What a great book! Having spent a large portion of my life CFBC (child free by choice), I could really relate to Olive. So much pressure everywhere to fall into the rhythm of wanting to be a mom once you reach a certain age. Olive is a very like able well developed character who does at times fall into the same trap she blames others for— not being accepting of the choices they have made. A strong book on a topi rarely covered, I recommend this one for your TBR list.

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A very relatable story - listening to Olive navigate life- including relationships and work. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC.

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I'm so glad the author decided to write this book and I had a chance to read and review it. It covers such an important topic in today's world that many people don't discuss and can be considered taboo. I really appreciated getting to know Olive and her perspective, as we do share similar views. I liked seeing her challenges as she dealt with romantic relationships, friends, family, and work.

The story doesn't have a lot of action and is more about character and relationship development. I listened to the audiobook, which I would recommend. I thought at times Olive could come off as a bit whiny, but that could have been partly the narrator's voice.

I think this is a book that tells and important story and I hope people get to read it, especially those who don't understand the idea of not wanting to have children.

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I really enjoyed this book. It was my second audiobook and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on my commute to work. Sian Clifford does a great job with the narration!

Olive is 33 years old , working at Dot magazine and very happy with her life choices and career. Although she doesn't want kids , Olive feels there is a pressure or assumption about women settling down, getting married and having babies. When something comes up at work to research and celebrate baby free women , Olive uses the chance to seek out other women who feel the same way she does and research why this subject is so taboo!
While Olive feels the constant need to explain her decisions , her group of friends are going through their own struggles with motherhood and Olive feels like they are drifting apart!

This is an honest and frank insight in to why women choose to be child free. It was a great read and was really enjoyable with some real laugh out loud moments too...which was so funny when sat driving in the car and bursting out laughing at and I quote "and that's the icing on the clitorus cake" 😅

I can't imagine not wanting children .. I always knew I wanted to be a mum! But its important to remember that some women want children, some are struggling to get there and some are happy child free. We are all on our own journeys. 🍃

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Olive is 33, she works for a magazine and doing pretty well in her career. She is in a long term relationship with Jacob for nine years. She has a group of girlfriends which includes Bea, Cecile and Isla.
All her friends are married. Bea has 3 kids, Cecily is pregnant with her first and Isla is trying and struggling to get pregnant. All of her friends are on the next chapter of their life and Olive is stuck. It is interesting how their relationships change as they grow up and make different choices in life. Olive doesn’t want children and wants to be childfree by her choice. This has affected her relationship with Jacob too.
The book explores the issue of how people like Olive are made to feel like less of a woman or selfish because they do not want to be a mother
I really appreciate the fact that it covers a topic that is still considered taboo in our society.

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While I originally found the titular character a little bit unlikeable by the time we came out the other side I had grown quite fond of her. I like the relationships between Olive and her three best friends and I thought the subject matter was one that probably needs more attention., I would have liked to have seen an expansion on the relationship between Olive and her elderly neighbour and the end felt a little rushed but all in all I enjoyed it.

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I went into this audiobook blindly as I forgot the details of the summary that I read. But I'm glad I went in blindly because I felt it kept me with an open mind. This book was a great listen and a great book to read, especially being a female who does not have children yet. I have friends who don't want children and that is totally okay. I would highly recommend this book to those friends of mine.

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30- something Olive is trying to decide if parenthood is for her. She's fairly certain that she doesn't want children but lives in a world where it is expected and throughout the book we see her explore the concept with her friends, work colleagues and family.

This could have been a very preachy or massively cliched book about women and their biology and the expectations placed on us by society but it manages to stay away from the usual tropes and is a very intelligent look at an often ignored question.

Very enjoyable by anyone regardless of whether they have kids or not.

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I'm not sure why, but the cover did not give me vibes of this being set in London where Olive Stone lives. A little of the story reminded me of myself. She had a group of special friends who made pact with each other to remain closely bonded after college. I made a pact with all of the cheerleaders of which I was one to meet every leap year, but we never met even once. Anyway, I made a few connections like that though they were small. I had a harder time resonating with Olive's lack of desire to be a mother; however, I did understand her point of view and I also believe that any woman or man who does not want children shouldn't have them. I think that because I think it's possible those children might be abused or neglected. Of course, I know even wanted children can go through life being unloved and neglected, etc. She didn't want children whereas I had five and always wanted to be a mother.

Although Olive's friends felt differently about being a mother, they all managed to maintain friendships and their friendships is one aspect I loved. I sadly have never seen one single person from high school, even though I was a cheerleader and popular. I moved from Los Angeles area to the Central Valley in California and that did it. I don't have a special group of friends like that, but I am close with my family and I consider my daughters in particular my friends. I say that because we get together and I always want to include them. Both my sons live about 300 miles from me and in different directions. But I absolutely loved Bea, Isla, Cecily and Olive's friendships. No matter how things go among friends or family, I always tend to love books that zone in on either or both.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Audio for a free ARC audio.

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Olive by Emma Gannon


“You must remember that no decision is ever really the wrong decision. Because it's the decision you made at the time. Respect your past self and her choices.”

🫒 I finally got round to listening to an audiobook last week and I loved it - Olive was narrated beautifully by Sian Clifford. Thanks to Net Galley and Harper Collins for this gifted copy of the audiobook. 🫒

This book tells the story of Olive, a very successful 30 something year old woman living in London. Olive is fiercely independent, wracked with anxiety and full of kindness. She knows her own mind but she’s not quite sure wether to trust it, watching all of her friends marrying and having babies should make her feel broody, right!? Except that it doesn’t. It turns out that actually Olive doesn’t want to be a mother - much to the confusion of her closest friends - Cecily, Bea and Isla, her long term boyfriend, Jacob and her own distant mother. Olive’s life may look a little different to the one people imagined for her but that’s okay, isn’t it?

This book is an excellently told story of womanhood; it’s so real, funny and warm. It covers sensitive subjects expertly and feels so inclusive. I absolutely loved Olive’s character and found myself rooting for her throughout - the ending was just perfect.

Although unable to relate totally to one individual character I found myself relating to all of the women in such different ways but also as a group; the way in which their friendship developed over the years really resonated with me. It’s such an honest and moving portrayal of the ups and downs of close adult friendships.

“Whilst so many of my friends were paying extortionate amounts to increase their fertility and chances of pregnancy, I was swatting away my partner’s penis like an annoying fly.”

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*received for free from netgalley for honest review* Firstly i was drawn to this book bc my grandmothers name was olive lmao and though im younger than olive, this was a really great book as im childfree as well and i really liked how this book was kinda centered around that and others choices

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I really enjoyed this book and this is a plot that I had never come across before. I think this book does justice to feminism. This book covered all kinds of women: the ones having 1 baby, the ones having 6 babies, the ones having a baby with a cheating partner, the one who can’t have any and ofcourse our lead character- the one who wants to be child-free.
It was a quick and fun read and tbh there were some parts that triggered me a little bit but hey, that’s ok because women actually face some of those. I loved how friendship was made so important in this book and it also gave a message of making amendments and standing for your own self and not depending on others. Being stubborn was very normal in this book which I felt was pretty good but somewhat I felt that the main character, Olive, was given a much more importance than she deserved. Overall I really enjoyed reading and listening to the book.

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Olive is a charming coming of age story for a 26 year old. Suffice it to say, not everyone finishes having their big revelatory moment when they're a teenager, nor do they wait until their mid life crisis. No, most of us are figuring ourselves out as we go along. Olive is the perfect look at four women's not so perfect lives and how they learn to grow up and grow together through their late 20s and early 30s.
Olive doesn't want to have children, but it seems like everyone around her does. She's feeling left out and isolated. She is wondering about missing out on having her own children, as people around her continue to tell her she doesn't know what she's talking about and that she'll change her mind. She decides to take on a journalistic work assignment to uncover why millennials are choosing not to have kids, but it hits a little too close to home. She meets with a holistic fertility expert and a group called Child Free By Choice, and neither of those feel like perfect fits either.
This is also a story about mental health. Olive doesn't realize how depressed she is until she's on the other side of it, but she has people in her life that care about her and reach out. Her other friends go through their own mental health crises, and even new acquaintances bring into play their own mental illness.
This book does not have a lot of action, and there aren't any big solutions that come up. However, the pacing of listening to this book on audio was delightful, and I found myself continuing to go back to it for the feeling of exploring emotions with close friends. Olive is comforting. These friends are able to work together and help each other despite their vastly different circumstances and perspectives. They are able to resolve their conflicts after they've been jerks to each other. They always have each other's backs. This is what makes Olive soothing. And important. Female friendships that feel genuine.

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I want to start this out by saying that I really, really liked this book. As a woman who has been struggling with her sexuality for years, I’ve definitely thought about whether I want to have biological children. I am asexual and I don’t want to bring kids into the current world we live in. Plus, it doesn’t really appeal to me. I like children, for the most part. I just don’t want to have any myself.

Which brings me to our main character, Olive. Olive recently has broken up with her longtime boyfriend because he wanted kids and she didn’t. She’s surrounded by women who already have families, are pregnant, or trying to become pregnant. All she wants to hear is validation from someone saying that it’s okay that she doesn’t want children! But instead she’s hit with the “it’s a phase” and “you’ll want them eventually” talks. At one point, she is bluntly told that her feelings are not as important as someone who doesn’t want children, because there are women who are struggling to conceive.

There were a lot of characters who put her down and told her she would reconsider, but there were also characters who felt the same way.

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This was a fun listen. I liked the characters and the relationships between them. I don't personally resonate with Olive, but I think a lot of people will and this story might mean a lot to them.

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Emily Gannon did it again! I really enjoy her writing and this one was GOOOOOD! I do perfer her last book SABOTAGE more but this one was still pretty good!

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