Lisa's Reviews > Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
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's review
Dec 08, 09

Read in December, 2009

This is one of those books that literally changed the way I think and feel and respond to others. Elizabeth Strout brings much wisdom and insight to common themes like family dynamics, love, marriage, aging, death, grief, loneliness and betrayal without ever coming off as sentimental or seeming to arrive at an obvious conclusion. The messages of Olive Kitteridge are honest and real: that we need to love and be loved, that we need compassion and understanding both for and from the people in our lives.

Literarily speaking, one of the great achievements of this book (besides its lively, original prose) is its form--a "novel in stories." The author reveals the unforgettable Olive--and reveals Olive to Olive--little by little through different episodes and different points of view. Each story stands on its own, offering a unique insight, illuminating what the characters do and don't understand about themselves and others. But taken together they create a very satisfying, perceptive, powerful novel. Really masterful stuff. Highly recommended.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri A couple of my friends absolutely loved this book. I can't wait to see what you think of it. I'm adding it to my "to-read."

Cristi Great review, Lisa. Picked this up at the library this weekend, can't wait to start!

message 3: by Cheri (new) - added it

Cheri I'm totally inspired by your review. As soon as I have time between book group books, I'm reading this one.

Cristi Great recommendation, Lisa! Each story was so moving and it was really interesting to see how the novel came together through the different perspectives. Cheri, this is a great book - would be perfect for book club conversation.

message 5: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Garvin Great review I feel the same!!

message 6: by Ann (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ann Garvin Great review I feel the same!!

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