Olive Kitteridge

Many of the main characters in Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel are old, and like aging itself, this book is not for wimps. The 13 interconnected stories that compose the novel are linked by Olive Kitteridge, a retired seventh-grade math teacher who appears in all of them—as one of the main characters in some of the best, as little more than a passing reference in others. Together the stories do for small, coastal Maine towns what Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio did for Midwestern villages: show them as communities of complex, often alienated, lonely and hurting people who nevertheless sometimes connect in profound and hopeful ways.

 

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