I don’t, and I don’t. I don’t think the stories are connected sufficiently to warrant the classification as a novel.
Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of adult short stories; I tend to call them “long beginnings.” Many, it seems to me, are slices of life as opposed to stories with beginnings, middles, and ends. For some reason, while those kinds of stories won’t fly in KidLit, they are acceptable in AduLit. (Yeah, I just made that up.) But I often don’t find them satisfying. I want a sense of completeness in a story, and I may even want something longer, something I can immerse myself in.
I confess I was attracted to the idea of “a novel in short stories.” Like a novel in verse, I thought it might be an interesting format, despite my feelings about short stories. I kind of feel tricked by the word “novel.”
I think I was disappointed that the stories weren’t more cohesive. Or perhaps I was disappointed that they weren’t more connected by Olive, since she’s the title character. Maybe if the title had been the name of the town they all lived in or something more generic or moody, I would have felt less disappointed. Maybe it was my expectation that Olive would have more of a presence that was disappointed. I think there was a consistent tone to the stories.
Why do you think a writer writes a number of stories about a few characters but then doesn’t connect them in a novel? I wonder if this collection of stories was the author’s idea. If you were the editor, what would you recommend the author do with this collection of stories? Would you want to publish them as they are or follow a different path?