Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

Average Rating:
Rate this:
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.
Publisher: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
ISBN: 9781588366887
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

EscapesToBooks Nov 30, 2017

One of my favorite books of all time. Olive is complex and we come to know her from many perspectives.

Jun 07, 2017

A lovely "story" in which you can probably see yourself and others!

robertafsmith May 02, 2017

Winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this is a powerful rendering of a feisty, flawed but terribly human character - Olive. There are other characters - also beautifully rendered, but Olive is the lynchpin. The DVD four-part series is also outstanding.

Mar 12, 2017

Olive Kitteridge is comprised of interconnected stories that relate to the title character in some way. It is beautifully written. For the most part, the tone is wintry and bleak, but there are moments of light as well. I recommend reading the book first and then watching the excellent HBO miniseries adaptation.

Jan 22, 2017

A series of stories with one person in common - Olive Kitteridge. Sometimes she is the main character and sometimes a randomly mentioned person. The variety and stories of the various characters never fail to hold your attention. Through it all are people trying to make sense of the life they have ended up in. Completely relatable.

Dec 24, 2016

What superb writing! I seldom read a book twice but I'll read this again. At times challenging to figure out who these people are and what they have in common. Elizabeth Strout [ES]uses the format of related short stories because she envisioned the power of Olive Kitteridge [OK] as best told in an episodic manner. ES thought the reader might need a little break from OK at times as well. Sometimes I disliked Olive. I found myself in my own home at my table or in the chair laughing out loud often, other times thinking how crass and hard hearted she was, but then seeing her help people in need made me wonder. I saw qualities or thoughts in her about her son that I've had myself, this book caused me extra introspection and thoughtfulness about my own life, especially to treat loved ones with care because one never knows when they will be gone out of ones life for good .
What a treat this book has been. I enjoyed the conversation at the end between the author, Olive and RHRC [Random House Readers Circle].

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 02, 2016

The characters were interesting and real, sometimes their stories were worth a read, but in hindsight, this wasn't the most memorable novel.

Mar 22, 2016

This is such a beautifully written collection of short stories. I found our book group meeting on it extremely interesting - it had never occurred to me that anyone could hate Olive. Some of us saw her as a wretched creature who wrecked everything she touched and made everything all about her; the rest of us felt a lot more compassion and felt that she touched lives in an extraordinary way. Either way you see Olive, this book will evoke strong reactions in you. The writing is superb. I have to confess, a couple of the stories didn't do a thing for me, but the book as a whole is so stunning, I had to buy my own copy. Highly recommend.

Mar 11, 2016

I love everything this author writes. Such insight into human frailty and relationships.

Feb 04, 2016

A beautifully written series of relatable vignettes that each feature the formidable Olive Kitteridge, sometimes as a major player and sometimes in a cameo role. I felt like I already knew all the people in the stories and was reminded of many stories of my life and my own friends and neighbours. All the emotions of life are in there, as the details of Olive's life slowly unfold.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

AL_SUSANW Oct 08, 2016

A real downer about aging, marriage and New England made me reach for the helpline.

Jul 06, 2015

My life story.


Add Age Suitability

nreynolds Sep 08, 2010

nreynolds thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over


Add a Quote

PimaLib_SherrieB Dec 09, 2014

An innocent, Olive thinks, gazing at this woman. A real one. You don't find them anymore. Boy, you do not.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at CALS

To Top