Olive: Olive branches for women in their 30s

Book review: Emma Gannon’s smart debut novel looks at the decision to be childfree

Emma Gannon’s Olive takes a tried and tested formula and breathes new life into it.

Emma Gannon’s Olive takes a tried and tested formula and breathes new life into it.

Taking a group of female friends and exploring their lives and relationships is a staple of contemporary women’s fiction, from Maeve Binchy’s Circle of Friends to Patricia Scanlan’s much loved City Girls series to captivating recent debuts from the likes of Eithne Shorthall and Dawn O’Porter.

Emma Gannon’s Olive takes the tried and tested formula and breathes new life into it with an examination of four female friends whose paths diverge after a close-knit college experience. The book’s protagonist is the titular Olive, whose first-person narrative focuses on her decision to not have a baby, or to be childfree by choice (CFC).

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