the book started out comfortably – like a big comfy sweatshirt on a cool day. then i got a bit confused with all the disjointed stories until i (quickly) realized that olive kitteridge was a character in all of them.
i was never very comfortable with olive…she seemed to be the type of character who created “elephant in the room” moments, so i never felt more than just comfortable with the book. i never fell in love with any of the characters (except maybe olive’s husband, henry, who was just a dear), and i certainly wasn’t intrigued by the ongoing storyline (it being interupted with new characters and new stories with each chapter).
and then came the ending where olive’s ugly political side shown brightly. not only did the author (elizabeth strout) inject this character’s ugly political side once, but several times towards the end and she just lost me.
right now, i’m looking for fiction to take me out of the negatively political environment that we’re curently in in this country. i don’t need to be reminded of it while i read a fictional world. the current events of The Help were the main threads of the story, and it wasn’t our current world. and it wasn’t an author’s obvious intent of injecting a political view into her fictional characters.
the actual writing was very good. strout is a very good wordsmith. her stories were interesting, so she’s a good storyteller. but her style is not mine, so i can’t overtly recommend Olive Kitteridge to anyone.
on a side note, this book and the one i’m reading currently (see below) have both mentioned 9/11 in the storyline. i wonder how many authors have mentioned it as part of their story lines since 2001?
next up…Before You Know Kindness by Chris Bohjalian. It’s a thick, dense, beautiful writing kind of book and I’ve immediately been drawn into the story and the characters. I love these kinds of books!