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Starred Review. Thirteen linked tales from Strout (Abide with Me, etc.) present a heart-wrenching, penetrating portrait of ordinary coastal Mainers living lives of quiet grief intermingled with flashes of human connection. The opening Pharmacy focuses on terse, dry junior high-school teacher Olive Kitteridge and her gregarious pharmacist husband, Henry, both of whom have survived the loss of a psychologically damaged parent, and both of whom suffer painful attractions to co-workers. Their son, Christopher, takes center stage in A Little Burst, which describes his wedding in humorous, somewhat disturbing detail, and in Security, where Olive, in her 70s, visits Christopher and his family in New York. Strout's fiction showcases her ability to reveal through familiar details—the mother-of-the-groom's wedding dress, a grandmother's disapproving observations of how her grandchildren are raised—the seeds of tragedy. Themes of suicide, depression, bad communication, aging and love, run through these stories, none more vivid or touching than Incoming Tide, where Olive chats with former student Kevin Coulson as they watch waitress Patty Howe by the seashore, all three struggling with their own misgivings about life. Like this story, the collection is easy to read and impossible to forget. Its literary craft and emotional power will surprise readers unfamiliar with Strout. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Perceptive, deeply empathetic . . . Olive is the axis around which these thirteen complex, relentlessly human narratives spin themselves into Elizabeth Strout’s unforgettable novel in stories.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge. . . . You’ll never forget her. . . . [Elizabeth Strout] constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion. . . . Glorious, powerful stuff.”—USA Today
“Funny, wicked and remorseful, Mrs. Kitteridge is a compelling life force, a red-blooded original. When she’s not onstage, we look forward to her return. The book is a page-turner because of her.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Olive Kitteridge still lingers in memory like a treasured photograph.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Rarely does a story collection pack such a gutsy emotional punch.”—Entertainment Weekly
“Strout animates the ordinary with astonishing force. . . . [She] makes us experience not only the terrors of change but also the terrifying hope that change can bring: she plunges us into these churning waters and we come up gasping for air.”—The New Yorker
From the Hardcover edition.
Phenomenal characterization. Each story draws you in. Wish there was a bit more connection between each story (but then life isn't like that, so very real.)Published 1 month ago by Eeyore
Had it delivered within 2 days and I love the novel. It is worth readingPublished 1 month ago by Pen Name
Loved this Book. Elizabeth Strout can weave a tale. She brings it all home in one beautiful package. Its like a weekend with the family...Published 10 months ago by baldrick
I read it to please a friend. I appreciated the structural devices employed but these are not the kind of people I like to hang out with. Read morePublished 11 months ago by schreiber
Read this for bookclub. First time trough found it a bit odd and confusing, were all stories connected? Second time I read it was more interesting. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
Olive Kitteridge weaves threads of the life of one woman through each unique chapter in the book. While Olive's personality seems inconsistent at times, I suspect the author had in... Read morePublished 18 months ago by connie epp
It's true that Olive's character challenges paved the way to her own unhappiness - but every path has sideroads! Read morePublished 19 months ago by Eleanor Cowan