Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Olive Kitteridge--Review

This book was a winner of the Pulitzer Prize. The praise from reviewers on the back of the cover is effusive.

The book deserves every complimentary word.

This is why you read if you read.  Olive Kitteridge is as good as it gets.  It is a compilation of linked stories about a small town on the coast of Maine. The title character appears in some way in each chapter. Most of the time she is central, occasionally she is a minor figure.

The book is about the joy and pains of love and loss. It may sound trite, but the writing and messages are not. On the contrary some of the stories are so powerful that, early on--and this is not an exaggeration--my stomach began to feel the kind of pain one feels when one hurts because of love.  I did have some spicy food before reading the section, but that was not it.  Today, one day after finishing the book I find myself thinking about it and feeling the same emotional sensations.

I am not one to read the end of a book until I get to it and am startled that there are those who have no problem with doing so.  However, the last three paragraphs of this book are for the ages, and while it might give something away to go there first, for anyone who is unlikely to read the book but will want to understand its essence, these three paragraphs will illustrate how well the author writes and the quality of her message.

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