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Olive Kitteridge: Fiction by Elizabeth…
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Olive Kitteridge: Fiction (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Elizabeth Strout

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,365517762 (3.91)521
Member:bhowell
Title:Olive Kitteridge: Fiction
Authors:Elizabeth Strout
Info:Random House (2008), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, early reviewers, American fiction

Work details

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (2008)

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» See also 521 mentions

English (509)  Catalan (4)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (519)
Showing 1-5 of 509 (next | show all)
(Note to self: never read a Pulitzer Prize winner (Olive Kitteridge) right after a National Book award winner (Let the Great World Spin). The second makes the first seem thinner, paler. I thought the major theme of the book was on p.142 "..and in the case of Olive Kitteridge, she found herself positively squeezed to death by an unendurable sense of loneliness." I heard an NPR segment yesterday on solitary confinement for prisoners and how our psyches need intimacy. Need it. This book is about the hunger for it.
( )
  MaryHeleneMele | May 6, 2019 |
Olive, the stern, contrary, complex school teacher, is the connecting thread through what are essentially a series of short stories. A snapshot of a small Maine town, the people that live there and the events that shape them. ( )
  devilish2 | May 1, 2019 |
I saw the movie before I'd read the book, which didn't give me the sense of how it was written. Such a unique format! It's episodic, with each chapter written about completely different people, and only some in Olive Kitteridge's "voice." (those were my favorite chapters) However, all tie together, b/c all of these different and unique characters have had some sort of interaction with Olive.

All in all, a great read. ( )
  DonnaEverhart | Mar 23, 2019 |
Simply and beautifully written. Ordinary characters with ordinary lives who seem so real I half expect to bump into them at Publix. I considered giving up on it in the beginning because it can be sad and I avoid sad like the plague, but I'm glad I stayed with it. (And it doesn't end sad.) ( )
  badube | Mar 6, 2019 |
Strange ending! ( )
  Carolinejyoung | Feb 22, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 509 (next | show all)
Each of the 13 tales serves as an individual microcosm of small-town life, with its gossip, small kindnesses, and everyday tragedies. Not all the minor characters stand out the way Henry and Olive do, and there are a pile of them to keep straight by the end. I also couldn’t quite place how one story, “Ship in a Bottle,” meshed with the rest. But those are small flaws far outweighed by the book’s compassion and intelligence.
 
The pleasure in reading “Olive Kitteridge” comes from an intense identification with complicated, not always admirable, characters. And there are moments in which slipping into a character’s viewpoint seems to involve the revelation of an emotion more powerful and interesting than simple fellow feeling—a complex, sometimes dark, sometimes life-sustaining dependency on others.
 

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Elizabeth Stroutprimary authorall editionscalculated
Burr, SandraNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Castoldi, SilviaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my mother who can make life magical and is the best storyteller I know.
First words
For many years Henry Kitteridge was a pharmacist in the next town over, driving every morning on snowy roads, or rainy roads, or summertime roads, when the wild raspberries shot their new growth in brambles along the last section of town before he turned off to where the wider road led to the pharmacy.
Quotations
Olive had sat in her bedroom and wept like a baby, not so much for this country but for the city itself, which had seemed to her to become suddenly no longer a foreign, hardened place, but as fragile as a class of kindergarten children, brave in their terror.
She showed him the library built the year before Henry's stroke, with its cathedral ceilng and skylights. He looked at the books, and she wanted to say, "Stop that," as though he were reading her diary.
Who, who, does not have their basket of trips.
He wanted to put his arms around her, but she had a darkness that seemed to stand beside her like an acquaintance that would not go away. - "Pharmacy"
Angie... felt she had figured something out too late, and that must be the way of life, to get something figured out when it was too late. - "The Piano Player"
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town of Crosby, Maine, and in the world at large, but she doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her; a lounge musician haunted by a past romance, a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive's own adult child who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse.
As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought into a deeper understanding of herself and her life - sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty.

Stories:
Pharmacy
Incoming Tide
The Piano Player
A Little Burst
Starving
A Different Road
Winter Concert
Tulips
Basket of Trips
Ship in a Bottle
Security
Criminal
River
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

At the edge of the continent, in the small town of Crosby, Maine, lives Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher who deplores the changes in her town and in the world at large but doesn't always recognize the changes in those around her.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

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