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Olive Kitteridge

Updated: Jul 14, 2019

Olive Kitteridge is emotionally powerful, lyrical and hard to forget.


SUMMARY Olive, a retired school teacher in the coastal town of Crosby, Maine is the subject of a set of interlinked short stories. She is at times curmudgeonly, cold or abrupt and at other times vulnerable, hurting or just plain tired. She is human, and struggling to understanding herself and all the changes and challenges that life throws her way. She is found contemplating her marriage to Henry, her relationship with her son, Chris, and the loss of her mother. Former students and other townspeople grappling with their own problems are featured noting how Olive’s words impacted their lives. This is an intimate portrait of a woman’s self-discovery in thirteen vignettes of her life.

“You couldn’t make yourself stop feeling a certain way, no matter what the other person did. You had to just wait. Eventually the feeling went away because because others came along.”

REVIEW Olive Kitteridge is quite a character. At first, she seems old and brusque and you won’t like her very much. Keep reading! With each new story, we find out a little bit more about her. Her character, we learn is so much more than our initial impression. She is full of emotions, wants, needs, thoughts, and feelings. Olive Kitteridge make us realize people are complicated, and there is so more to each of us, than what we can see on the surface. Elizabeth Strout’s writing in this novel-in-stories format is lyrical. The stories are all different and all divine. A great read. Strout was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Olive Kitteridge in 2009. Well deserved!

PUBLISHER Random House

PUBLISHED March 25, 2008

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