Elizabeth Strout is pure genius. Her sequel to Olive Kitteridge called Olive, again is so masterfully written that you languish over every word. This cynical, obstinate, and ornery character is ultimately so human and loveable you can’t wait to hear what comes out of her mouth. And that dialogue is sumptuous and surprising. Strout breathes life into speech when Olive discovers a woman her new husband had an affair with years ago “You have no idea what you’re talking about, and I would appreciate it if you left your stupid-stupid-opinions to yourself. He was a lovely man, and that snot-wot is a creep.” The way Strout wraps stories and characters in Olive’s life mostly works. Although there are some contrived out of nowhere characters that only have a passing connection to Olive are superfluous. A minor flaw in a superb novel.