Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge

By Elizabeth Strout

  • Release Date: 2008-03-25
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
From 1,072 Ratings



In a voice more powerful and compassionate than ever before, New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together thirteen rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character: Olive Kitteridge.

At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama–desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love.

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 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 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 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–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

People • USA Today • The Atlantic • The Washington Post Book World • Seattle Post-Intelligencer • Entertainment Weekly • The Christian Science Monitor • San Francisco Chronicle • Salon • San Antonio Express-News • Chicago Tribune • The Wall Street Journal

“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

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Elizabeth Strout’s The Burgess Boys.



  • Olive Kitteridge

    By Poppie+3
    Could anyone play Olive except Frances Mcdormand? I saw the series first and actually read the sequel first before reading the original. Hope that Olive again makes it to HB.
  • Olive Kitteridge

    By Ristikay
    Love this book! The odd thing is, I tried reading Olive Kitteridge few years ago and had to put it down. The story was depressing. I couldn’t stand Olive. She was a horrible woman, wife and mother. A few years have passed and recently I gave the book another try- After all there must be something good about it if it’s a bestseller and a Pulitzer Prize winner, right? Maybe the timing had to be right for me to appreciate/“hear“ Olive’s story because this time I read the whole book and was very moved. Elizabeth Strout is an amazing writer! I immediately went on to read the sequel -Olive, Again. (👍!)
  • Olive Kitteridge

    By avomaria
    Had to put this down once but picked it up again. It HAD to be good reading if it won a Pulitzer Prize, right? This time it grabbed me at the beginning and held me until the end. Strout’s writing was superb. The lives lived by several of the “townies” in Olive’s life reminded me of my friends, neighbors and relations. The author’s ability to describe a landscape or personal interaction with beautiful metaphors and similes had me shaking my head in awe at the skillful use of her craft. Olive is a crusty piece of work. Damaged, flawed and defensive but so like someone I know, I would love to be her friend. She would always tell me the truth I wouldn’t want but needed to hear. And low maintenance! Thank you for Olive, Elizabeth.
  • Olive Ketteridge

    By fmckeagney-dub
    Wonderful book. Beautifully written. Highly recommended. This is the first Elizabeth Strout book I have read - I look forward to reading her others.
  • Olive Kitteridge

    By Peghyster
    Excellent book. I would recommend this book to everyone. Beautiful story. I wish it never ended.
  • Cd

    By diixtgiddpto
    No DTVif
  • Page turner

    By gdfrnd1418
    Love the tempo of her writing, her character development and simply the little zingers she throws in that everyone reading can identify with that you think no one else knows or would ever write about. I've read two of her books and in the middle of her third and don't want it to end. Her books are totally more than just easy summer reading. They grab you be the lapels and drag you in before you finish the first page. Enjoy you lucky new-bees.
  • What?!?

    By L7733
    I got this book based on the reviews... Could not get past the first 4 stories.. Boring, insignificant, unreadable
  • Olive Kitteridge

    By Picky Reader1
    Strangely engaging and haunting. The author makes it impossible not to relate to the human trappings that define and constrain each of us. Certainly not a feel good book, but it will remind you to live, to appreciate that we are nothing more than the sum of our relationships, and how easy it is to allow our insecurities to isolate us. This author could write a recipe book that would be more engaging than most of the crap out there. True talent.
  • Slice of Life

    By Jinread
    Each short story reveals a different slice of life through various and varied characters, as they relate to our lead, Olive Kitteridge. Olive's dominating personality will influence those who revolve in and out of her circle of family and friends, for better or for worse, as we witness their stories. Olive herself is the most complicated of the characters, and we learn more about her though the years and the eyes of those she is closest to; her family. We read to enjoy the beauty of language and to learn about the human condition. Reading Olive Kitteridge will not disappoint. Jinix2