Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about a 72-year-old retired schoolteacher who lives in Maine. Olive is a controlling woman who thinks she knows better than everyone else. We’ve all known people like her. Understandably, she’s not very popular, not even with her only son. In this novel however, Olive gets her comeuppance. As the story unfolds, we as readers, witness Olive’s transformation and even come to see her goodness along the way.
What I loved most about this story is Strout’s masterful command of character development. This isn’t the first novel I’ve read by Strout and I think she’s amazing! There are a wide variety of characters in this story and I came away feeling as if I knew each one well. That’s a rare gift. Many heavily populated stories have well-defined main characters and the others pale by comparison. This is not the case here. Why I even felt like I knew Olive’s dog! That’s excellent writing.
If you haven’t read this novel, I hope you will do so. I loved it!