Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout Book Review

I recently read Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout for the 100 Bestsellers List reading challenge.

Olive Kitteridge* by Elizabeth Strout

(*Amazon Affiliate link)

Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2009.  It was reviewed with phrases such as “Perceptive, deeply empathetic,” (O: The Oprah Magazine); “Glorious, powerful stuff,” (USA Today);gutsy emotional punch,” (Entertainment Weekly); and “Mesmerizing,” (Tampa Tribune).   And, it was liked so well that it was made into an HBO mini-series.  Mesmerizing?  Really?! Did they read the same Olive Kitteridge that I read?

Olive Kitteridge consists of a series of short stories involving the residents of fictional Crosby, Maine.  The stories span twenty-five years and each story introduces new characters; however, in each story Olive Kitteridge herself makes an appearance.  Olive is a retired middle-school math teacher who is married to the town’s pharmacist, Henry.  Olive and Henry have one son, Christopher, who appears in a couple of the thirteen chapters.  Olive is a very difficult person to like.  She’s gruff, abrupt, and emotionally volatile. In some of the short stories we see glimmers of more positive characteristics, but throughout the book, Olive rarely takes the high road in any situation and rarely sees the positive in any situation.

Read the rest of my review over on It’s A Mystery Blog.

1 Comment

  1. Missus Wookie

    isn’t it interesting when you get hold of a book that has been praised highly and are left confused and wondering if there is a different book of the same title…

    Perhaps it was that Olive wasn’t easy to like that made it ‘gutsy’ and ‘powerful’. But I’ll take your word for it and not go looking for it.

Leave a Reply