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An unforgettable book. Olive Kitteridge is not a sympathetic character, but she's fascinating, and you can't help wishing she could change her nature. This is a series of 13 beautifully written connected short stories. Olive isn't the central character in some of them, but you get perspectives from other people who know her. Brilliantly done.
Common Grounds Book Group Read
Oh, Olive. Olive Kitteridge is a woman whose exterior is rough around the edges concealing a heart of good intentions. Elizabeth Stout weaves colorful threads throughout all thirteen-chapter stories of which Olives finds her way in every Pulitzer Prize narration.
Elizabeth is very good at description & she can delve very deeply into the essence of people. I do truly admire that but while I can see all of that I wish I hadn't read Olive Kitteridge. It is a sad story.
Wonderful characterization in this novel, which reads like a series of short stories, which explores the lives of some of the coastal town residents interwoven with a retrospective of Olive, a retired teacher as she reflects on past regrets, choices and decisions.
One of my favorite books of all time. Olive is complex and we come to know her from many perspectives.
Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this is a powerful rendering of a feisty, flawed but terribly human character - Olive. There are other characters - also beautifully rendered, but Olive is the lynchpin. The DVD four-part series is also outstanding.
Olive Kitteridge is comprised of interconnected stories that relate to the title character in some way. It is beautifully written. For the most part, the tone is wintry and bleak, but there are moments of light as well. I recommend reading the book first and then watching the excellent HBO miniseries adaptation.
A series of stories with one person in common - Olive Kitteridge. Sometimes she is the main character and sometimes a randomly mentioned person. The variety and stories of the various characters never fail to hold your attention. Through it all are people trying to make sense of the life they have ended up in. Completely relatable.
What superb writing! I seldom read a book twice but I'll read this again. At times challenging to figure out who these people are and what they have in common. Elizabeth Strout [ES]uses the format of related short stories because she envisioned the power of Olive Kitteridge [OK] as best told in an episodic manner. ES thought the reader might need a little break from OK at times as well. Sometimes I disliked Olive. I found myself in my own home at my table or in the chair laughing out loud often, other times thinking how crass and hard hearted she was, but then seeing her help people in need made me wonder. I saw qualities or thoughts in her about her son that I've had myself, this book caused me extra introspection and thoughtfulness about my own life, especially to treat loved ones with care because one never knows when they will be gone out of ones life for good .
What a treat this book has been. I enjoyed the conversation at the end between the author, Olive and RHRC [Random House Readers Circle].
This is such a beautifully written collection of short stories. I found our book group meeting on it extremely interesting - it had never occurred to me that anyone could hate Olive. Some of us saw her as a wretched creature who wrecked everything she touched and made everything all about her; the rest of us felt a lot more compassion and felt that she touched lives in an extraordinary way. Either way you see Olive, this book will evoke strong reactions in you. The writing is superb. I have to confess, a couple of the stories didn't do a thing for me, but the book as a whole is so stunning, I had to buy my own copy. Highly recommend.
I love everything this author writes. Such insight into human frailty and relationships.
A beautifully written series of relatable vignettes that each feature the formidable Olive Kitteridge, sometimes as a major player and sometimes in a cameo role. I felt like I already knew all the people in the stories and was reminded of many stories of my life and my own friends and neighbours. All the emotions of life are in there, as the details of Olive's life slowly unfold.
The author paints her characters into real people and you feel like you know them. Would recommend for a senior audience book club, who are actually facing aging issues.
This is a wonderful book. I love Olive and getting to know her through the stories of the other characters kept me interested. All the people in the stories became my friends.
A series of interlinked stories set in present-day Maine. Crisply and economically told, emotionally wise. Fantastic.
Blah. Not at all in the same league as Alice Munroe. Is this a novel or a series of poorly connected short stories? Characters are not well defined at all and Olive herself is just miserable.
Olive Kitteridge is a collection of thirteen well-crafted short stories, all set in small town Maine. Each story features the title character, some prominently and others just as a small cameo. Olive is a complex character, at times difficult and at times compassionate, but always very human. In this 2009 Pulitzer Prize winner, every story has its rewards.
I had this book on my "to read" list forever and was thrilled when my book club selected it. I was not disappointed. It is beautifully written, with complex characters. It is a true portrait of many life struggles.
The sense of petty self righteousness and anger in the main character made this a depressing read. Not a lot of happiness or joy that I could detect or even any sense of wonder at life. I wondered about half way if I should continue and I did but it wasn't very satisfying.
Very enjoyable to read and a good story to get into. I liked the characters in it.