Laura's Reviews > Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

it was amazing
Read in November, 2011

disclaimer - I love depressing books. I must love depressing books (and movies) the way some people love scary movies. You never want that kind of stuff to happen to you in real life, but there's something horribly engaging about having it laid out for you in all its gruesome detail. The thing is, I hate scary movies. Getting scared out of my mind (I might also be a wuss) and having subsequent nightmares is not my idea of entertainment. But for some reason I seriously love a great, big downer of a book. I love the emotion of it, and the rawness, maybe. I feel like people can sometimes be most themselves, most real, when depressed. Just a theory, though.

Regardless, it has been a long time since I've read something so beautifully written. It's poetic but not overly; palpable and striking, from the descriptions of coastal Maine to Olive's varied relationships. I fell in love with the way Strout tells her stories and found that I'd get to the end of a chapter and realize that I'd been holding my breath. A sentence near the end -- "It baffled her, the world." -- about sums up the book.

But again, not for those who like happy books.

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