Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Mm, mm, mm, what to say about this book. May contain possible spoilers...
After I finished the book I read some other reviews and noticed a lot of people call it a series of short stories tied together by the books namesake, Olive Kitteridge.
Olive is an old woman who is either the main character in several chapters (short stories) or a sideline supporting character in some others. Olive is a crotchety old woman who snaps at her sweet tempered husband, is a distant mother to her son, and a force-to-be-reckoned-with citizen in her small town of Crosby, Maine. Overall I think Olive, while crotchety, is a woman who doesn't know how to communicate the softness that does exist in her heart.
I found the book to be depressing and moody. Everything from anorexia, hostage situations, marital affairs, suicide contemplation, divorce, death, etc. is touched on in this book. Olive, as I mentioned, seems to be somehow involved in each of these whether it happens to her or she is mentioned in or witness to it. The characters are all facing somber times in their lives be it the young and broken hearted or the old and broken hearted.
I do give it to the author that she writes about the ugly in people's lives and on some levels you can relate. But you also find yourself looking away as quite possibly any human would in the face of an awkward, depressing situation of a stranger (be honest with yourself on that statment).
I cannot recommend this book for three main reasons:
1) It's depressing (I do not like depressing books!). You'd have to be in the right mood to read it.
2) I had a hard time keeping up with skipping back and forth between present time and past memories, thinking I had missed a page.
3) Did I mention it's depressing?
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