Friday, July 29, 2011

Olive Kitteridge [Strout]

Book: Olive Kitteridge
Author: Elizabeth Strout

Review: 'Olive Kitteridge' is a series of short stories about people living in a small town in Maine. Olive Kitteridge is a retired school teacher and is the focus of a few stories, while making appearances in the others. She is many things to different people-beloved teacher, obnoxious mother-in-law, annoying wife, caring and supportive neighbor. Strout nails human emotion in this beautifully written novel yet depressing novel.

I am generally not a fan of short stories but this is so well written and the stories so engaging that I had a hard time putting it down. It was simply excellent. I felt a kindred spirit to the town in general as well as Olive. It may be because I'm from a small town in the northeast (originally from Maine but grew up in upstate NY) that Strout really captured the spirit of the people. Olive also reminded me a lot of a person close to me. For the most part she has good intentions, but very little self awareness.

Grade: A

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