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Elizabeth Strout's acclaimed novel Olive Kitteridge, now the basis for a HBO series starring Academy Award-winner Frances McDormand.
Olive Kitteridge: indomitable, compassionate and often unpredictable. A retired schoolteacher in a small coastal town in Maine, as she grows older she struggles to make sense of the changes in her life. She is a woman who sees into the hearts of those around her, their triumphs and tragedies.
We meet her stoic husband, bound to her in a marriage both broken and strong, and a young man who aches for the mother he lost - and whom Olive comforts by her mere presence, while her own son feels overwhelmed by her complex sensitivities. A penetrating, vibrant exploration of the human soul, the story of Olive Kitteridge will make you laugh, nod in recognition, wince in pain, and shed a tear or two.

Topics: Aging, Family, Marriage, Dark, Maine, Small Town, and Short stories

Published: Simon & Schuster UK on Apr 12, 2013
ISBN: 9781471128653
List price: $12.99
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What a character- Olive Kitteredge is loud, bossy, and decisive. In her old age she swears and complains. Strongheaded, but with her own sort of compassion, Oliver is an institution in her small Maine town. This novel, told in a series of stories, details the lives of Olive, her family, and those around her in Crosby, Maine. The great strength in this book is in its central character. I've never seen another character quite like Olive. From the blurb on the back I was expecting a sort of stock, cantankerous old lady, but that's not Olive. It's hard not to love and loathe Olive at the same time. Through theis book we see how the excigencies of life can chip away at as solid a vessel as Olive Kitteredge, and that's both disturbing and reassuring at the same time.read more
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I was eager to read this, since it won the Pulitzer after all, but sadly found it a bit overrated. It just felt like the kind of book I read plenty of times before, like something Alice Munro has already done to death: small-town folks feeling trapped and hating their lives. The characters are well drawn-out for the most part (Angie's story may have been the best in capturing the pathos of a faded beauty), but often each character is simply defined by their misery. We delve more into the titular character Olive, of course, through the eyes of her husband and neighbors, and in her own words. She is a difficult character to like: shrewish, miserable, confusing no-nonsense manners with rudeness and obstinance. But she is given a heart in how she tends to those in need, or when she develops school-girl crushes. But for the most part, Olive represents her small Maine town: full of regret and unfufilled potential, while possessing occasional moments of beauty.A well-written novel, but not one that hasn't been seen in the literary world before.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Every chapter is written as a short story which at first was hard to follow, but by the end of the book was easier to follow because the characters reappear. The book is really well written. The main character was a senior citizen and the book deals with a lot of issues with which seniors have to deal.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
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Reviews

What a character- Olive Kitteredge is loud, bossy, and decisive. In her old age she swears and complains. Strongheaded, but with her own sort of compassion, Oliver is an institution in her small Maine town. This novel, told in a series of stories, details the lives of Olive, her family, and those around her in Crosby, Maine. The great strength in this book is in its central character. I've never seen another character quite like Olive. From the blurb on the back I was expecting a sort of stock, cantankerous old lady, but that's not Olive. It's hard not to love and loathe Olive at the same time. Through theis book we see how the excigencies of life can chip away at as solid a vessel as Olive Kitteredge, and that's both disturbing and reassuring at the same time.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was eager to read this, since it won the Pulitzer after all, but sadly found it a bit overrated. It just felt like the kind of book I read plenty of times before, like something Alice Munro has already done to death: small-town folks feeling trapped and hating their lives. The characters are well drawn-out for the most part (Angie's story may have been the best in capturing the pathos of a faded beauty), but often each character is simply defined by their misery. We delve more into the titular character Olive, of course, through the eyes of her husband and neighbors, and in her own words. She is a difficult character to like: shrewish, miserable, confusing no-nonsense manners with rudeness and obstinance. But she is given a heart in how she tends to those in need, or when she develops school-girl crushes. But for the most part, Olive represents her small Maine town: full of regret and unfufilled potential, while possessing occasional moments of beauty.A well-written novel, but not one that hasn't been seen in the literary world before.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Every chapter is written as a short story which at first was hard to follow, but by the end of the book was easier to follow because the characters reappear. The book is really well written. The main character was a senior citizen and the book deals with a lot of issues with which seniors have to deal.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I liked this book. Olive Kitteridge was a complex and very strong character, whom I think embodies a certain no nonsense New England sensibility. She's rough and cantankerous, and practical to the point of making you want to scream in frustration, but, she's compelling. Strout weaves stories about Kitteridge's family and neighbors, slicing up life in a Maine town into meaningful vignettes which show what makes up a life - how we touch and miss one another, how we seem to be propelled into collision paths with folks we'd never dream of interacting with, and how we loose those relationships we feel are some how unshakeable. I also think Strout presents the inner life of a people entering their twilight years with skill, sensitivity, and great believability.
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Strong Standards of Maine TeacherOlive Kitteridge by Elizabeth StroutThis book was received from Random House in conjunction with the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. On my recommendation, this book was selected by my book club for review.Olive Kitteridge is a high school teacher from Crosby, Maine who seems to be a part, whether good or bad, of so many people in town.The author weaves the thirteen short stories into a saga of a person who is easy to hate but still comes across as very human. Her high standards make it impossible for everyone to meet the values she has set for herself and others. All emotions are covered in these stories…from humor, to sympathy, to distrust; just like life!Buy this book and enjoy the time spent in Maine with a real character who is true to herself and still survives in her community.
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I tried reading this about a year ago, and couldn't get into it. After a friend recommended it to me, I tried again, and finished this time. I'm not sure I'm happy I read this book. It's well written, but this novel in stories focuses on the depressing side of life. Olive Kitteridge, the thread who ties the stories together, is exasperating and difficult. The author didn't try to make her particularly likable. And yet, the ending was hopeful.
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