Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

A pretty depressing read for a book that received awards and rave reviews. I had higher expectations for this book. The writing is great and way it's written is definitely interesting, but it just wasn't a book that made me feel good. And I'm not implying that I require that of books. I think there's something to be said for serious books that make you think, or force you to confront issues that you typically wouldn't like to. But this one didn't really do that. It just kinda left me feeling "blah" and like I had insight on someone's life I wouldn't want. Would I discourage you from reading it? No, not necessarily. Just prepare yourself that it's kinda depressing.

Publishers Weekly review from

tarred Review. Thirteen linked tales from Strout (Abide with Me, etc.) present a heart-wrenching, penetrating portrait of ordinary coastal Mainers living lives of quiet grief intermingled with flashes of human connection. The opening Pharmacy focuses on terse, dry junior high-school teacher Olive Kitteridge and her gregarious pharmacist husband, Henry, both of whom have survived the loss of a psychologically damaged parent, and both of whom suffer painful attractions to co-workers. Their son, Christopher, takes center stage in A Little Burst, which describes his wedding in humorous, somewhat disturbing detail, and in Security, where Olive, in her 70s, visits Christopher and his family in New York. Strout's fiction showcases her ability to reveal through familiar details—the mother-of-the-groom's wedding dress, a grandmother's disapproving observations of how her grandchildren are raised—the seeds of tragedy. Themes of suicide, depression, bad communication, aging and love, run through these stories, none more vivid or touching than Incoming Tide, where Olive chats with former student Kevin Coulson as they watch waitress Patty Howe by the seashore, all three struggling with their own misgivings about life. Like this story, the collection is easy to read and impossible to forget. Its literary craft and emotional power will surprise readers unfamiliar with Strout. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

No comments:

Post a Comment