Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Cover Image

In the town of Crosby, Maine lives a woman named Olive Kitteridge. She’s a tough nut and most people avoid contact with her. She’s a retired 7th grade math teacher and she taught many of the people of Crosby. This book of linked stories (yes, I read another book of short stories!) involve Olive in one way or another. To quote the book jacket: “As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life – sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition – it’s conflicts, it’s tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.”
I enjoyed reading this book if for no other reason than to see how Olive would figure into each story. I found several stories depressing, yet thought provoking. I’m still not in love with short stories but this book was better than the other collections I’ve read in the past several weeks.
Olive Kitteridge would be a good book club selection. Discussion could go in so many directions.