Saturday, December 4, 2010

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout


At first I would have considered Olive Kitteridge a beach read, but it’s just the opposite. Even the cover is misleading. The book, which won a Pulitzer Prize, is not all about Olive but weaves in different stories of people. I read it for my book club and it really generated intense conversations about relationships and love. I hate Olive! She is cruel, speaks her mind, and often is misunderstood. I guess you could say, she is the perfect character. Each chapter tackles a new person in Olive's life, almost making individual stories within the big story. I savored every chapter individually and at times thought of them as stand alone pieces. But, they all seem to meld together in the end.


Elizabeth Strout is the author of Abide with Me and Amy and Isabelle, which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. She is on the faculty of the MFA program at Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and lives in New York City.

"Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When she’s not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her."

San Francisco Chronicle

Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph."
Seattle Post-Intelligencer