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Olive Kitteridge

10 Ratings: 2.7
A book by Elizabeth Strout

Starred 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 … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Book, New York Times Bestsellers, Bestsellers, Ny Times Bestsellers, Random House Trade Paperbacks, see all
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
1 review about Olive Kitteridge

My expectations were just a bit TOO high

  • Oct 27, 2009
I'm not too fond of short stories - although I did purchase this with the hopes of enjoying it since they seem to be loosely related stories with one particular character, the ubiquitous Olive Kitteridge. And as expected Olive does appear in every story in the book - sometimes just merely by name, other times it's a cameo appearance, but her presence is definitely felt throughout these vignettes into the lives of some of the residents of Crosby, Maine.

Now let me shed some light on the infamous Olive Kitteridge. Olive Kitteridge = a bit nasty, a little on the heavy side and definitely older. That description alone should give you a feel for exactly what we're dealing with here.

As you go from story to story you read about Olive, her friends, relatives and acquaintances scattered throughout Crosby, Maine. And I will confess that the stories in this book will have you thinking not just about the fictional characters Ms. Strout has created, but about your own life and that of your friends and family. These are very real life characters that you can easily associate with yourself.

With that said, sadly, I just never got around to "really" liking any of the characters. Don't take me wrong, Olive was a force like no other. When she came into a room (or a story) her presence was definitely made known. But I think it made me feel preoccupied... in the sense that I was looking forward to Olive. When was she going to enter the story? How did this person know Olive? Was she their teacher? Was she a neighbor that lived down the road? Olive, Olive, Olive. In the end, I found it to be distracting.

I honestly thought the premise was unique and clever. And, needless to say, Ms. Strout's writing is superb... but in the end it just never clicked for me. I'm not sure if that was because the stories were too short or I just had "too" high expectations for this, but sadly it just fell flat for me.

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