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Posts tagged ‘Olive Kitteridge’


Abide with Me

We can wonder if, for all our separate histories, we are not more alike than different after all.     ~Elizabeth Strout

In 1959, life in small town America revolved around family, school, work, and church which was pretty much the same decades before and decades since. Houses may have updated appliances, driveways new cars, and schools fitted with updated technology but people tend to stay the same. They root for a winner but can’t help finding fault, gossiping, and crucifying others for perceived slights, petty jealousies, or simply because they have nothing else to do. And, as soon as a person is knocked down to size, they come together to lift him or her up, rejoicing in their newfound redemption. Such is the story of the townspeople in a small northeastern town in Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout. Read more »


Amy and Isabelle

Because if everyone just turns out like their mother, then what’s the rat’s-ass point?”

Elizabeth Strout is one of the few writers who has mastered the art of writing about difficult women we loathe but love to read about. In her Pulitzer-prize winning novel, Olive Kitteridge (2009), Strout gave us an opinionated, forthright, bossy, cantankerous, and self-righteous protagonist (Olive Kitteridge) who was also loyal, honest, and conscientious. Most readers identified in some way with Olive Kitteridge – the school teacher, the wife of the local  pharmacist, and the mother who loved imperfectly – but felt relieved the similarities only went so far.  Read more »


“My Name is Lucy Barton”

Elizabeth Strout – the Pulitzer Prize winning author of Olive Kitteridge and The Burgess Boys, recently published My Name is Lucy Barton, a novel that explores one person’s emotional quest to connect with her mother. Told from the perspective of Lucy Barton, the 188 page novel tells the story of a woman who longed to escape her childhood and become a writer in New York City. Along the way, she marries and has two daughters, embracing motherhood. When she enters a hospital to have a routine appendectomy, a complication arrises that results in a 9 week hospital stay. While her husband is busy working and her two young daughters cared for by an overzealous nanny, Lucy whiles away the days until her mother shows up to visit – a mother she hasn’t seen since she before she was married. Read more »


“The Burgess Boys”

You have family. You have a wife who hates you. Kids who are furious with you. A brother and sister who make you insane. And, a nephew who used to be kind of a drip but apparently is not so much of a drip now. That’s called family. Read more »


“Olive Kitteridge”

When I was in high school, I worked in a local pharmacy and learned the secrets of everyone in town: the mayor was taking Valium, an overwhelmed mother had a prescription for 100 Percocet tablets filled monthly, a close friend’s parents never paid their bills (this was back when I thought everyone paid their bills), and a young girl voted “best looking” by her fellow classmates in the graduating class of the local high school was trying to break into modeling and getting hooked on diet pills to become the size 4 she would never be. Read more »