Saturday, November 28, 2009

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

I am currently reading Olive Kitteridge on the suggestion of some of my friends on Facebook. Good suggestion guys! It took me a little while to get into it, but I'm over half way through and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

Set in the fictional coastal town of Crosby, Maine, Strout gives readers a glimpse into the lives of some of the locals. Olive, a retired junior high math teacher and wife to the town pharmacist, weaves her way through the lives of these townspeople in practically every story. It's a lovely way to write about a community but you have to pay attention. Time jumps from chapter to chapter and it can get confusing if you don't remember the names of the characters and the ties they have to each other.

Growing up and currently living in a small Maine town where my parents are townies and everyone in town knows who my grandparents are, I feel connected to this book. If you've never been to Maine, Strout gives you a rare taste of what it really is like growing up and raising your kids in the same town -- knowing the same people all your life. I'm sure Crosby, Maine could be a microcosm for small town America, but the quaintness of coastal Maine is unlike any other place in the country. It's so -- New England.

In any case, I'm not finished yet, but feel confident enough to suggest this book to my friends and veritable strangers. Hope you like it!

1 comment:

Samantha Warren Weddings said...

I hope I was one of those friends you are referring to. I had a similar reaction- took me a while to get into it, but was glad I stuck with it (being on an island with nothing to do but read and relax helped). The only thing I struggled with was that I'd get so attached to each character and their story, and then after a chapter, they'd usually sink back into the background, and I found myself missing them. Enjoy the rest!