I could not put this book down, its prose was, as the title suggests, so delicate and beautiful. I finished in 24 hours it was that lovely. Short stor...moreI could not put this book down, its prose was, as the title suggests, so delicate and beautiful. I finished in 24 hours it was that lovely. Short stories are underrate and wrongly so. Unlike novels, they have a small window to make a big impact and Groff honestly does this with Delicate Edible Birds and Other Stories.
I thought about the title and how I thought the short stories connected, and I believe the thread is connected through the power and frailty. Birds are majestic and beautiful creatures, but they are small and frail and must be protected. I believe that many of these short stories are how those frailties are protected and how they are sometimes squashed.
One of my favorite of the stories, Blythe, was about a woman Harriet and her deep friendship with Blythe, a woman who was suicidal and manic depressive. For years Harriet took care of Blythe who was so fragile and needed the attention to keep her sane and Harriet happily provided that and to Blythe's forgotten sons. But at one point do you want something more for yourself? That was the question that Harriet asks herself? Do you protect the fragile Blythe or yourself?
The stories are beautiful and powerful and thought-provoking. A child emotionally abandoned by her parents as they deal with their own issues. A set of war reporters during WWII, one being a female, and they have to decide whether they give up the promiscuous female reporter for sex to save all of their lives, hers included.
They truly make you think and more important, they invoke emotions. So wonderful. (less)
I love short stories but this was just seemed too contrived maybe? I'm having difficulty writing about what it is that I disliked about this boo. Ther...moreI love short stories but this was just seemed too contrived maybe? I'm having difficulty writing about what it is that I disliked about this boo. There were some interesting stories, the first one probably my favorite but some of them became so unbelievable and took on a spiritual quality that the theme of loved became bizarre and made the title kind of lose its impact. And the title short story taking place regarding an late 1800 Russian had nothing to do with the contemporary Canadian story. I'm just disappointed.(less)
This novel in the form of short stories was interesting but a little bit of a let down. Olive Kitteridge is only occasionally the star of the short st...moreThis novel in the form of short stories was interesting but a little bit of a let down. Olive Kitteridge is only occasionally the star of the short stories and in others she appears as a mere one line sentence. That is completely ok but every view of her is so different that I am never sure which Olive is true. Olive is kind, a teacher who goes out of her way to help individuals, a negligent wife, a devoted wife, a caretaker, subtle, overt. It never makes sense. I guess that means we are all different things to different people but even when we get the voice of Olive herself there are some discrepancies. Maybe that is because individuals are complicated and complex, but I was left missing something. I just could not completely love it.(less)