Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

Finally, a wonderful read!  The story of the lives of people in a small town intersecting with the main character, Olive, is told as a collection of short stories.  I actually didn't realize that was the format until I'd almost finished the book, as the author weaves the lives of her characters together seamlessly.

Olive is all of us, in one way or another.  She has her good traits and her flaws and is aware of some and not others.  She is kind and boorish, listener and lecturer, loving and mean-spirited.

One story referenced the poet John Berryman, who I'd not heard of and quoted a line "...or all my life I'll suffer from your anger" that I liked.

Olive is so hopeful despite her misgivings of other people.  When she's invited to help her son and his wife she "...felt something she had not expected to feel again: a sudden surging greediness for life.  She remembered what hope was...that inner churning that moves you forward, plows you through life...forward to a place new, and where she was needed.  She was asked to be part of her son's life."

It is a story of how we are all our lives are interconnected.

Published: 2008  Read: May 2013  Genre: Fiction

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