Olive Kitteridge


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 - Elizabeth Strout Summary

Olive Kitteridge (2008) is a novel by American author Elizabeth Strout. It presents a portrait of the title character and a number of recurring characters in the coastal town of Crosby, Maine. It takes the form of 13 short stories that are interrelated but discontinuous in terms of narrative. It won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. HBO produced a four-part mini-series, based on the novel, featuring Frances McDormand in the title role, which aired on November 2 and 3, 2014. The series won eight awards at the 2015 Primetime Emmys...

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Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout Book Reviews (389)


Olive Ketteridge5 star

Wonderful book. Beautifully written. Highly recommended. This is the first Elizabeth Strout book I have read - I look forward to reading her others. 55


Olive Kitteridge5 star

Excellent book. I would recommend this book to everyone. Beautiful story. I wish it never ended. 55


Cd5 star

No DTVif 55


Page turner5 star

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. 55


What?!?1 star

I got this book based on the reviews... Could not get past the first 4 stories.. Boring, insignificant, unreadable 15

Picky Reader1

Olive Kitteridge5 star

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. 55


Slice of Life5 star

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 55


Unforgettable5 star

A book is only a book once you finish reading it and it stays in your mind, but most of all touches your heart and soul. This is a simple book, an easy reading but powerfully written. I enjoyed so much that I did not want to finish. I wish there were more books in the market this touching. 55


One of the best5 star

One of the best books I have ever read. Unforgettable characters, fascinating story line, and very well written. Leaves you wanting more. I have now gone on to read all her other novels. Highly recommended. 55


Olive Kitteridge4 star

What an interesting way to add depth to a character with separate stories of people who live around her. Very thought provoking. Touched on many issues of the human condition. Very enjoyable. 45

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