What is it about?
New York Times bestselling Author Elizabeth Strout interweaves thirteen narratives in the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Olive Kitteridge. Set in Crosby, Maine we see the life of retired schoolteacher Olive Kitteridge mostly through the perceptions and lives of the townspeople around her. At times confused but mostly angry with the changes in her life and the relationships of those closest to her, Olive grapples with her life choices and the person that she is.
What’s the verdict?
Strout has beautifully brought together a collection of short stories that contains one larger than life character, Olive Kitteridge. Often gruff and stern, Strout depicts a deeply flawed but recognisable woman. Olive’s self-awareness and perceptiveness sits in complete contrast to her self denial.
At times this novel is deeply sad, it creeps up on you as you make your way through each story, it touches on anorexia, suicide and mental health but still manages to be hopeful with moments of humour.
Some of Olive’s actions represent what we all wish we could do at times, there is a particular moment after her son’s wedding that will make you laugh and cringe at the same time.
For those that love character driven books, this is the one for you. Looking at how our personal history can shape us and how our conflicts and desires affect our lives. Along with Olive, the townspeople of Crosby will stay with you long after reading.
After you’ve read the book, try the HBO produced mini-series with Frances McDormand and Bill Murray available now on Sky Box Sets.
“Love was not to be tossed away carelessly, as if it were a tart on a platter with others that got passed around again. No, if love was available, one chose it, or didn’t choose it.”
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