This book tells the story of a small New England town. Through a collection of "vignettes", each one detailing an episode in the life of a person or family living in this small coastal town over three generations, allowing us some insight into the life of Olive herself. The tie binding them together is the title character. I found the book a little disjointed. Since there was no real plot to speak of, the "story" and characters were a little hard to follow. That being said (spoiler alert here) it did all come together for me in the end because I am a sucker for endings all tied up with a nice red bow.