Friday Morning Bookclub

February 5, 2010

Olive Kitteridge By Elizabeth Strout

Filed under: Olive Kitteridge — susanbright @ 5:34 pm

 Carol wrote this review of today’s meeting. Thank you Carol!

Today we had a small group meet before the big storm to discuss Olive Kitterage. The book is a collection of 13 vignettes of the lives of the residents of a small town in Maine. The residents weave in and out of each others’ lives to different degrees, but the one presence they all have in common is Olive Kitterage, a lifelong resident of the town who is a schoolteacher, mother and wife. In these vignettes we see the different emotional challenges each of the characters must contend with and how they struggle to get the love they want. Olive’s life is the most detailed and the readers see how, over time, her different relationships either unravel or transform. The club was mixed in its’ feelings for the book; some of us really enjoyed examining these different characters and their intimate conflicts but some of us felt that the vignettes were too short and disconnected to be interesting. There was also different opinions about Olive and how responsible she was for pain she caused in the lives of her husband and son. There was a comment made that this book could be best appreciated by readers who are at least middle-aged, people who have reached a time in their lives when they know that sometimes different relationships require compromise or resignation. What I found intriguing about these stories were the differing strength of bonds between the various characters and their families and by examining these bonds I could ponder whose outcomes would be better than others’.

What did you think of Olive Kitteridge? Don’t forget to vote!


1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the review Carol… you captured it very well.
    I was one, who did not really care for this book too much… I found it too disjointed to sustain my full interest throughout. While Olive’s experiences and choices, certainly had a lessons for us to think about, I found the form of the book, with all the different vignettes, to much info to try and take in. And some of Olive’s story got lost in the mix. I understand why the author wanted to present it in this way, but it didn’t work for this particular reader.

    Comment by Janine — February 6, 2010 @ 1:57 pm | Reply

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