By: Elizabeth Strout
Random House, 2008
Olive Kitteridge is a story about life. Strout used a collection of thirteen short stories about the people of coastal Crosby, Maine with one connecting character, Olive Kitteridge, to tie them all together. Sometimes Olive is the main character and sometime she is only mentioned, but in the end the story of her life has been told. I laughed, I cried, I felt annoyed, I felt empathy. It is raw and beautiful.
Because Strout's novel is a compilation of short stories, there is not a true climax of the story, but that fits well. The reader really gets the sense that they are just following through life with these people. Their experiences are mundane, which is okay because there is something in Olive Kitteridge that most people of all ages can relate to. She explores what it is like to be young and what it is like to be old. I will warn that there are parts of this book that deal with situations and contain language that might not be suitable for all ages. That aside, I enjoyed Olive Kitteridge and would be interested to if others felt the same way.