Thursday, May 20, 2010

Olives, Anyone?

Olive Kitteridge is a stunning book.  Simply and beautifully written; complex in its simplicity, the novel is a collection of interwoven short stories, a form that if not birthed, was certainly given identity by Louis Erdich with Love Medicine.  Olive is not a likeable woman.  She is intolerant and speaks her intolerance, alienating her son and many others.  As Olive states, “And I am essentially a peasant.  I have the strong passions and prejudices of a peasant.”  But she is far richer in character than this, and to paraphrase a New York Times book reviewer commented, the gravitational pull that anchors the various stories in the novel.  The novel will shock you, amuse you, stun, marvel  and nearly devastate you, often within a few pages.  Set in contemporary Maine, Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer for this work.  And she damn well deserves it.

1 comment:

cile said...

Duly noted. Thanks for the recommendation, Paul.