In Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout has mastered the craft of novel-in-stories form. It's a quiet book-ordinary people living ordinary lives in a small town in Maine-that addresses common themes of family relationships, aging, grief, disappointment, loneliness and death. At the outset, it's hard to imagine that a retired schoolteacher in Maine is interesting enough to justify an entire novel. However, seen through the eyes of nearly unrelated characters, Strout paints a portrait of Olive that is as complex as it is expansive. Olive isn't likeable and she doesn't fit in. But make no mistake, Olive Kitteridge is entirely loveable. And in loving Olive, you can have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for a writer who can capture so much truth and insight without an ounce of sentimentality.
"Olive Kitteridge" offers profound insights into the human condition--its conflicts, tragedies, and joys. Strout constructs her stories with rich irony and moments of genuine surprise and intense emotion" ("USA Today").