Is such a keen observer of human nature of our shared condition and she reminds us that life is full of a struggle of some kind for pretty much all of us In Crosby Maine ou ll find characters dealing with loneliness infidelity alcoholism sickness aging death regrets so many regrets Thankfully there also is friendship and love and empathy that Olive Kittridge finds within herself to give because the truths about life are dauntingly sad at times More than once I stopped between stories to take a breath This is Crosby Maine the small coastal town where our old friend Olive Kittridge lives In reality it could be anywhere but of course it wouldn t be the same unless Olive was there She ll tell The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age you exactly what she thinks aboutou in brutally honest words She s not the best wife or mother and honestly she can be pretty brash but it becomes obvious though that in spite of the things she says she cares I found at times her softer side her vulnerable side that aren t alway evident I can t say I liked Olive very much when I started reading Olive Kitteridge but by the end of that book I realized how many people she had positively impacted as a teacher and as a neighbor And by the end of this book I thought how lucky some of these characters were to have Olive in their lives and I felt for Olive as she endures her own challengesAs in the first book Strout skillfully weaves separate stories together with Olive as the thread but these books for me felt like novels On the one hand it s Olive s story as she reaches her seventies and eighties She s older and maybe a little self aware but always trying to understand herself She s the center of a number of the stories and we come to know about her as she comes to know about herself Some of the stories will give The Propaganda Bureau you that gut punch when Olive comes to painful moments of recognition about her family her friends and acuaintances and of course herself In some of the stories she makes a real connection and engages with another character and only makes an appearance in others Crosby and this book are populated with realistic characters including Olive who are filled with fears flaws frailties that are easily recognizable in ourselves What can I say about the writing other than its impeccable I felt the pull of these characters from the opening lines of pretty much every story Strout is a fabulous story teller and is on my list of favorite writers I definitely recommend that Olive Kitteridge be read first in order to fully appreciate the place in her life where Olive has come at the end of this book I received an advanced copy of this book from Random House through NetGalley Powerful emotional truthfulness and unforgettable narrative Brilliant novelOlive was aware of ludicrous behaviors unspeakable things spoken but what she did not understand is why she and her son Christopher should walk into old age with a high and horrible wall between them Olive could be blunt forthright frank and candid She had strong opinions and judgements she hated people who were late etc I happened to feel as strong as Olive did about a scene at a baby shower A third gift was presented to Marlene s daughter and Olive distinctly felt distress She could not imagine how long it would take this child to unwrap every goddamn gift on the table and put the ribbons so carefully on the goddamn paper plate and then everyone had to wait wait while every gift was passed around She thought she had never heard of such foolishness in her life It was easy to understand Olive s impatience and judgements Of course she kept her thoughts to herself but they were so human I could just picture that baby shower the happy smiling guests but also Olive at 70ishears old and her annoyance Another scene was puzzling and uite disturbing I honestly wondered where in the world was this coming from Kayley was a The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory young girl who took pleasure and money from a man Mr Ringrose whom she cleaned house for while unbuttoning her blouse He watched said thankou then left her an envelope with cash This went on for nine weeks There was no one Kayley could tell about what had happened and this knowledge stayed in her and made her almost constantly unwell I won t say how the short story ends but it s one to scratch our head with wonder I wasn t prepared to feel so sad in some of these short stories but I did Olive barely made it though a visit with her son Christopher his wife Annabelle and their three kids Olive was exhausted Some uiet cruelty coldness was making me feel depleted I felt so sad witnessing the detachment and bitterness between the bratty children and their grandmother the imperfections of Olive never being able to do anything right not even having enough milk or Cheerios My heart was breaking for the pain of each of the family members but I especially felt sad for OliveTo have to feel rejected judged by our adult children and grandchildren while dealing with aging has got to really hurt It s a lonely hurt that author Elizabeth Strout soooooo masterly and gracefully understan Edit After receiving backlash for my subjective opinion on this novel I don t even bother to reply to The Upanishads your negative comments and I report and delete all the comments from fake accountsOnce again I didn t do my homework and went into Olive Again without knowing it was a seuel to already published book called Olive KitteridgeNevertheless this book can be read on it s ownHowever if I read it s predecessor I would just skip this one for sureI m not saying this is a bad book because judging by other readers and critics reviews it is a really really good book but it wasn t for meI just couldn t see it s greatness I guessI think that the main reason why I couldn t connect with the story was that the main character Olive is so much older then meThis is the thing I realized while reading this novel I just can t enjoy the story connect with it if the characters are so much older then me we talk here about 70ears old characters and even 80 as the story progressedTherefore thanks to this piece of literature I made a decision not to read books featuring old main characters any at least at this period of my lifeThe second issue I had with Olive was that I didn t like her as a character at all I know she is described as honest outright and ruthless but to me she often came as just rudeI just didn t like her energy and I could not care for her or what was going on in her life and it especially showed as I was further into the storyI caught myself scanning the last 50 pages of the story because I just wanted to be finished with itIt is a shame I do know but it is what it isAlso when it comes to writing style my expectations were pretty high because this novel is labelled as literary fiction which stands for beautiful proseUnfortunately I was very disappointed because it read as simple general fictionStill I have to note that the book covers some pretty important things and some of the stories that involved other characters were interestingOn the other hand there were some situations that made me feel uncomfortable like when Olive said that it was stupid that an adult man cries aloud and even if he s Jewish it s still stupidIn the end I ll just repeat that Olive Again is very loved book and I am aware that many people won t agree with my opinionAs for me I won t be reading Elizabeth Strout s other work because I don t think I would enjoy it at this stage of my life Read this and reviews on my blog 45 stars rounded upElizabeth Strout is just a fabulous writer Her ability to weave together a diverse group of characters always fascinates me Her books are a blend between short stories and a novel While I m not a fan of short stories her books always work for me the way each chapter links to the next in its own weird way Olive Again returns us to Crosby Maine Olive and her cronies are now in their 70s and looking back on their lives as much as forward I felt an alliance with Olive She s not tactful although she s trying harder And she s not at ease She struggles to find common ground with her own son let alone his wife and their children As she moves through her old age she finds a way to make things work She becomes accepting I saw both myself and my parents reflected in Olive s efforts to navigate the whole aging process Strout makes every character not just Olive seem fully formed and real This is a small town and while it seems not much happens the book speaks to life in all its variations It was such a rich story it totally drew me in My thanks to netgalley and Random House for an advance copy of this book Four impeccably intercepted sad depressing self discovery stories circled around a memorable literature character starsOur one of the grumpiest most straightforward sullen cantankerous grouchiest characters of fictional world is back Frances McDormand did an amazing job to help me visualize this woman nobody can be better Olive than her And its back with amazing sad heart wrenching Crosby stories some of them she only makes small cameos cursing at a painting as she is passing through the street and at some of the stories she has close relationships with charactersWhat is different about Olive in this new book She is older now We re gonna witness her aging from her 70 s to 80 s She starts to help people even she gives them true answers about the cruelty of life make people feel like slapped against the face or stabbed to the heart she is doing her best with her own way She is always brutal honest never sugarcoats and empathizes Winter Magic you So people of Crosby should consider Jack Nichilson s famous uote from A Few Good Men before asking her opinion You cannot handle the truth so stay away from her foreverNow she is older sensible self aware still uestions herself and always tries to understand inner motives of her actions I actually can admit that she touches people s lives and changes them in her own branded way which is great for her friends and family because she really supports and helps them make positive changes on their lives I actually find her easier to connect at this book because she starts to get soften just a little bit as she gets older She sees about herself and the outer world objectively But when it comes to the other people s stories some of the characters are easy to resonate love and find some common things some reflections fromour own life We are already introduced to Jack from the first book and now the first story is of the book is about him helps us to connect with the first book but as I started to be introduced with new characters I had really hard time to remember all those names and confused a little When I resumed my reading and started to clear my mind to learn about the new characters I found out not all of them were truly connectable Some of them just pissed me off or make me depressed When Bird Habitats in Britain you read a book with so many characters there are always risks not to concentrate fully on their stories andou may dislike them wholeheartedly which affects The Guitar Style of Jerry Reed your opinion and overshadowour judgment opinions about the entire bookI found the stories a little bleak gloomy and heavy Maybe I was looking for twisty and surprising things or hopeful remarks help us to see the light at the end of the tunnel I don t say I didn t like them but they made me give so much breaks to breathe I and out I felt suffocated with all those depressing but realistic heartbreaking amazingly told storiesOf course The Poet and Labor are my favorite stories that I truly enjoyedSo as a summary Strout is so talented and intelligent writer and a puzzle maker She invented an amazing town with its people and made me believe they were real because nothing about her stories and all those characters were over exaggerated or artificial They are from real life They are from the heart and soul I mostly enjoyed her gifted writing and master story telling It was one of the best fictions I ve read so far. Er who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us to move us and to inspire moments of transcendent grac.
Old of the last light opening the world The light is significant particularly the late winter light of February and we are offered freuent glimpses of trees reddening and leaves falling as what was is slowly stripped away to clear the path for what is to comeStrout brings some characters back from volume 1 for a closer look She even brings in a few from her 2013 novel The Burgess Boys I remember walking down the street one day and all of a sudden realizing Oh Jim and Helen Burgess could actually be in Crosby Maine They could have dropped their grandson off at camp That s what New Yorkers do they send their kids to camp in Maine So I thought how fabulous It was so fun particularly because it gave me the chance to explore the enormous cultural divide between New York City and Maine There is some political perspective in this not a lot and some of the political turns are achingly poignant There are moments of humor as well Olive s misery while attending a baby shower is priceless as is her eagerness to flee regardless the costWe are all right for a book at different times of life Olive Again may be right on the money for me While I am not the age Olive is at the end of the book I have a sister who is and who is facing similar situations As a senior citizen I can certainly relate to the issues Olive faces as can most of us of this age I expect Was I a good parent Did I do right by my kids Was I the best person I could have been Did I do something meaningful with my life It will make الإيضاح لمتن ايساغوجي في المنطق you ask some of these uestions ofourself And if Riders of the Sea you have notet achieved silver status there are probably people around Jewish Women Speak About Jewish Matters you who have The concerns of the elders in this book might giveou a clue as to what is going on in their lives That said there are plenty of Friends Forever: Everything Changes (Friends Forever) younger characters banging around in these pages who can offer a perspective from a different generationThe stories in Olive Again are strong moving and beautifully written Olive is as wonderful a character as she is difficult a person It has been a privilege renewing our acuaintance That late season light has a way of staying right inour face and making ou suint But it also gives a magical glow and shadow to all it reaches helping make visible what might otherwise remain unseenReview posted December 6 2019Publication date October 15 2019My review of Olive KitteridgeEXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal Twitter and FB pagesInterviews New Yorker Elizabeth Strout on Returning to Olive Kitteridge by Devorah Treisman New Yorker Elizabeth Strout s Long Homecoming by Ariel Levy NPR We ve Got More To Say About You Olive Kitteridge Is Back And Complex As Ever by Scott Simon Irish Times She just showed up Elizabeth Strout on the return of Olive Kitteridge by Catherine Conroy Strand Book Store Meg Wolitzer Talking with Elizabeth Strout video 5046Items of Interest Excerpt Motherless Child in The New Yorker PRH Author Lunch Elizabeth Strout author of OLIVE AGAIN at the PRH Author Lunch at the ALA Annual Conference 2019 In a knot in a knotScrunching twisting sighing instead of hopping on my pogo stick It just didn t do me like the last one did sung in a bluesy voice Oh this book is good very good a 4 star read in fact and it s sitting on my 2019 Runners Up shelf as nice and happy as it can be So it s nuts to sound so disappointed It s just that the magic wasn t there like it was in Olive Kitteridge the moments when the words and the sentences dance in my head and turn me into a crazed pogo sticker Maybe it s just me My expectations were high as the sky and I should have followed my mantra and lowered them We all know that Olive Kitteridge is an insanely hard act to follow Man I must stop this Stop complaining and just talk about all the good Olive oh Olive She s so vivid and cool And of course there s always the uestion why do we love her like we do when she really is so gruff and selfish There s Strout doing her thing making us like her As Olive ages she becomes way less obnoxious and cantankerous In fact she has MELLOWED She even helps people which if she did in the first book I don t remember A few times Olive asks people what their life is like Although this is an excellent way to try to draw out people s secrets and get them to reveal their souls and a good way for the author to get character info out to the reader lol I m not sure Olive would really have been that interested in other people to ask them this uestion But I go back and forth on this Olive is less self absorbed and she s lonely So isn t that a recipe for reaching out to othersOlive also with age becomes and self aware Strout does that thing of getting into Olive s head so well going into everyone s head actually in a way that pulls out the heart She goes into thoughts and out comes feelings As always Strout cuts to the bone You re going along thinking the characters are boring when slowly they start to reveal their inside story which is usually a sad one We just have to look close enough and Strout makes it easy by giving us the magnifying glass What I love the most about the stories is how deep the conversations become which makes the characters so real and complex Olive wants REAL and Olive gets it There s often a pattern niceties are exchanged so at first it looks like it s the same old inane and mundane chit chat that s going nowhere and then before ou know it the characters often strangers or acuaintances are talking about how they feel disappointment with their spouses or kids fear of aging and death loneliness grief regrets their mistakes or bad luck Strout makes these conversations happen seamlessly and it never seems fake Wouldn t it feel richer if all our own conversations were that real and honest Sometimes I wondered if Strout was stretching it would people really open up that much But she s so skillful in her setups I buy it Any little doubt I have gets eaten up by a big I Don t Care Anyway What we end up seeing and what s so touching is the rich connections people make and the love and pain that exists within families All of the thirteen stories end with poignant moments which is always satisfying even if there isn t necessarily closureThis book picks up right where Olive Kitteridge left off the first story here is about Jack who was in the last story in the earlier book As with the first book Olive stars in her own stories but she often makes cameo appearances in others For example in one story her only appearance is when she passes by a woman buying a painting at a street fair She mutters aloud something along the lines of That s crap And just those few words affect how the buyer viewed the picture once she got it home How could it not We get to see Olive through the eyes of people in her town as well through her own eyesOne of the reasons that Olive is so endearing is that she hates pretension and prejudice So it s funny when Jack calls her a reverse snob A comment like that and there are several in this book stopped me in my tracks and made me think about Olive s outlook and outlooks in real life I love it that Strout stirs the pot and makes NV Level 3 Health and Social Care you thinkAs I started each story I was panting hoping for scoop about people I met in the first book Instead new people were constantly being introduced which got annoying as I had to remember a bunch of new names But if Strout had continued with some of the original characters I would have had to reread stories in Olive Kitteridge to keep track which would have been a royal pain so careful what I wish for We did get follow ups on some people and I slurped up their stories like I was dying of thirst Ha and one nasty person from book 1 got theirs in book 2 and that s always oh so satisfying Way to go StroutI could bring out the Complaint Board but I just don t want to write the words Complaint Board all bold face and vivid It s Strout Come on I just can t So about that missing magicI m trying to figure out why I said this book doesn t have the magic that Olive Kitteridge does and here are the reasons I came up with The language just doesn t make the hair on my arms stand up Making sentences sing is an art and with Strout s simplistic sentences it s even harder to do I ve read Strout s My Name Is Lucy Barton and I had the same problem just some little thing in the language didn t click with me Maybe it seemed over simplistic With Anything Is Possible and Olive Kitteridge the language absolutely mesmerized me Hair on my arms standing up all over the place The stories here don t have as many surprises or twists The stories are WAY depressing Too much introspection and philosophizing at the cost of plot I had fewer favorite stories in this collection and even they seemed a little less powerful than the earlier Olive stories Hands down favorite story The Poet About a conversation between Olive and a former student who became a famous poet OMG is this a great story Ends with uite a zinger I want to go reread that one right nowRunners up include Cleaning A disturbing story about a teenager cleaning houses The End of the Civil War Days A house with duct tape that divides territory and a daughter with a secret life Labor Olive s thoughts while a mom to be opens presents at a baby shower are priceless The scene made me laugh and it made me nod Oh poor Olive And there s a big unexpected event which changes the story entirelyThe fact that the stories are so depressing is a big deal for me Maybe it s worse because the stories are so realistic And as Olive got older I got older The physical and psychological problems that old people have are huge and ugly and Strout gently shoves them in our faces I see sawed between feeling like the last couple of stories were cathartic and feeling like I couldn t stand another minute of reading about all the gloom ahead for me Besides if I want catharsis my old fart friends are just a phone call away I have a major senior birthday coming up here next month The problems of the aging Olive hit way too close to home So this of course is not a criticism of the book it s just that the subject matter bummed me out too much I m thinking that ifou re under 65 Writing in the Dust: After September 11 you ll have an easier time reading this book it may not depressou Engine Performance Diagnostics you ll be able to fully appreciate the beauty of the stories the art of this amazing writer without thinking uh oh I could be next There s talk about the fear of death Again on one hand I love that Strout covers such a real and important topic one that no one wants to talk about but on the other hand reading about it makes me anxious as hell It s times like this that I say bring on the funny bring on fantasy lives I read for escape to help me avoid thinking about scary things that I have no power to change This book didn t take me far enough away from realityDespite my complaints I recommend this book Strout is a master storyteller Her stories are intense her characters are vivid and complex I highlighted a gazillion sentences and paragraphs which I only do when I m super engaged and impressed There s so much wisdom in this book Ifou loved Olive Kitteridge ou ll love this book If ou didn t read Olive Kitteridge et ou don t have to read it first but I think it makes the experience of reading this one a little richer I hope hope hope that they do another TV series based on Olive s life But they d absolutely have to get Frances McDormand to play Olive again I think hair and makeup artists could make her age perfectly Thanks to NetGalley for the advance copy I m not sure if Elizabeth Strout ever has need of a bodyguard and if she does I m sure she wouldn t choose a short brunette female in her 40s but if she ever needs someone to protect her life I would like to offer myself up as the best candidate because I m savage positively savage about protecting this woman s writing careerIt s not that I demand that RTA - CIP B702.6 - Renault Clio III, phase 1 de 09/05 a 03/08 you or anyone like this novel You have every right to like or dislike this book and please please can Elizabeth Strout. G to terms with the loss of her father aoung woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush or a lawy.
No one can write like the incomparable Elizabeth Strout her understanding of what it is to be human and penetrate the beating heart of what comprises a community has a universality that cannot fail to resonate with the reader sometimes perhaps uncomfortably so in the truths it lays bare such as the physically and emotionally taxing process of ageing Olive returns maybe not everyone s cup of tea but definitely mine indomitable outspoken cantankerous a larger than life presence in the lives of those around her an indisputably influential woman even if it is sometimes in the slightest of appearances in the stories that pour forth about the community of Crosby Maine from the pen of Strout Olive lives through her seventies and eighties getting married for the second time to 74 The Tale of Atterberry The Faire Pendant Series year old Jack Kennison who may find Olive irritating on occasion but loves Olive all that she is the two finding a companionship that eases the loneliness of losing their spouses and getting olderOlive is aware of her shortcomings as a wife to Henry she misses him an ache that never disappears even as her life appears to move on and as a mother to her son Christopher when his family come for a rare visit there is a palpable awkwardness and a moment that opens her eyes as she perceives him as a motherless child but who as becomes apparent later despite everything loves her We encounter a piano playing teenager who cleans homes acuiring cash from a strange and silent transaction with a husband A daughter cannot bear her inheritance from a morally bankrupt father and his profits from dubious investments in South Africa she finds solace and faith in the company of her lawyer Bernie Bernie is finding it difficult to come to terms with many of his morally reprehensible clients whose behaviour he has facilitated through theears There is a family s conflict as it comes to terms with a daughter starring in a documentary of her life as a dominatrix Strout does not shy away from darker aspects of community such as the abuse the toxic families and the challenges of alcoholism infidelity cancer and the feelings of despair the pain and the tears Olive faces regret and loneliness becoming considerably self aware as she ponders over the mystery of who she is and the joys and wonder of love that can sprout from the most unexpected of places Strout is an exuisite storyteller subtle and nuanced who gets to core of a person and a community with a simplicity that is breathtaking and does so with grace humanity and compassion Her portrait of Olive is outstanding multilayered and complex in the way she depicts Olive getting older invisible lonelier but still striving to live connect and learn about herself and others This is a profoundly moving novel captivating in its portrayal of the everyday ordinariness and extraordinariness of its characters an approach that packs a punch in its gut wrenching emotional honesty Simply brilliant and highly recommended Many thanks to Penguin UK for an ARC Introspection Olive Again is a novel that is boldly observant honest and searches for apperception The story of the indomitable Olive Kitteridge follows on two HERBALISM WORLD: This book includes: years after her husband Henry s death Olive is a little introspective on how she as a person her behaviour and relationships have evolved as she ages into her eighties especially as she experiences loss and loneliness Twoears after Henry s death Olive starts a relationship with Jack Kennison which is touching and meaningful Jack is also a widower with some history where an unfortunate affair and dubious sexual assault claim with a colleague ended his career as a Professor at Harvard University Jack s relationship with Olive develops and while it creates new possibilities and feelings it opens the door on how they behaved towards their respective spouses How they both missed them and how they feel about each other It also sparks the realisation that people hide emotions and worries they can t explain which subconsciously agitates prejudices towards the world Olive is a person who doesn t step reservedly into how she perceives the world and how uick she is to comment about people in it As Jack notes People either didn t know how they felt about something or they chose never to say how they really felt about something And this is why he missed Olive Kitteridge Olive uncloaks her deepest disuieting memories and reflects for the first time that she may have contributed to the broken or strained relationships she had especially with Henry and her son Christopher Considering her marriage to Henry she reflects that as the Kim Deal and Me years passed the distant her heart became and the needier his became Wondering about her son s marriage Olive catches a glimpse of some hidden moments The door to their relationship slightly opening Peering into the interior and seeing what she was not meant to see Her son had married his mother This was how Olive had behaved to her husband not realising that she herself had raised a motherless son The novel delivers what a special book does beyond entertainment it creates the scope to connect the writing to our own stories or those not far away It enables us to view issues through a different lens and wonder are these the events we couldn t face or appreciate We push these notions into the darkest corners of our mind and wrestle with them when we let them loose Several are let loose in this novel with outcomes of remorse pain heartbreak and guilt While I felt the first book had an overarching theme of betrayal this book searches for understanding and resolution and uses various threads to provide amazing glimpses into the difficulties people face in life especially with the burden of illness family misunderstandings or psychological trauma The scenarios are intriguing and captivating and along with beautiful prose and astounding characterisations this book is a joy to read I felt this book was slightly better than the first It was much less a work of short stories and a solid narrative of Olive with threads that expand around herThis is one of my favourite books of theear and it certainly didn t disappoint after the long wait for the seuel I highly recommend reading this book and I d like to thank Penguin Books Viking and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC version in return for an honest review When Transport on earth (World of tomorrow) you get oldou become invisible It s just the truth And The song from somewhere else yet it s freeing in a wayYou go through life andou think دیگر کسی صدایم نزد you are something Not in a good way and not in a bad way Butou think ou are something and then ou see that The Midwich Cuckoos you are no longer anything To a waitress with a huge hind endou ve become invisible And it s freeing Sometimes people come into The Man Who Had Been King: The American Exile of Napoleon's Brother Joseph your life at just the right time Peopleou have known turn up unexpected and ou re engage begin again It was like that for Elizabeth Strout She was sitting alone in a caf in Norway minding her own business when Olive inserted herself into her life once again in her car nosing her way into a marina cane in hand I saw it so clearly felt her so clearly that I thought Well I should go with this from the New Yorker interview It s not like Olive Kitteridge had been totally absent from Strout s life They had parted ways after Olive won Strout a Pulitzer But there were bits of her around pieces of story that did not uite work material for somewhere somewhen But the image was stronger this time whole a large presence demanding attention And so it was back to Crosby Maine back into the life of a difficult but complex character crusty uick to scorn but with a warm perceptive core Elizabeth Strout image from the Irish Times Olive and the other characters in Olive Again face the ongoing problem of loneliness among other things Thematically this is very much in line with the original Olive Kitteridge focusing on relationships considered both in retrospect and in the immediacy of experience Lives examined Olive for example wends her way through diverse and contradictory feelings about her late husband Henry And then wanders in her feelings about a new love interest Jack She has to cope with her relationship with her son Chris now living in Brooklyn where Strout has lived mostly for over thirty ears and take a tough look at herself as a mother seeing some less than wonderful behavior of hers repeating in her son s life There are some particularly moving scenes with Olive trying to make sense of her role with Chris and his family Olive is not the only character here putting a life under the microscope Jack Kennison Olive s new bf has plenty of his past to reconsider including his relationship with his daughter and is in for a bit of a surprise that had been kept from him for decades As in the first volume the stories alternate pretty much between Olive and not Olive although Olive does cameos in the tales that do not focus on her A teen working cleaning houses part time finds herself resenting the excessive pride one woman displays about her Mayflower heritage Strout can track her New World ancestors back to 1603 She finds herself in a very unexpected awkward and remunerative situation that reuires a lowering of her standards Or is it a seizing of power in her life The story includes a consideration of the class bias that still persists in far too many as Kayley Callaghan has had it drilled into her that as a working class girl of Irish heritage she will always be invisible to people like the Doris Ringroses of the world She finds a way to make herself seen In one of Olive s stories she copes with a MAGA home health aide and former student of Olive s resenting the presence of another HHA a dark skinned hijab wearing USA born Muslim whose mother was an immigrant from AfricaA returnee to town on the passing of her father finds deep solace in the family attorney and a welcoming ear to hear her tales of growing up in an abysmal home There is such pain warmth emotional connection and relief in this one that Topsy and Tim Aig an Dotair Topsy and Tim you may want to have a box of Kleenex handy I think our job maybe even our duty is to Her voice became calm adultlike Bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can One of the persistent motifs throughout the stories is secrecy Pretty much all the characters have things they have kept to themselves Haven t we all Some of the secrets are notour garden variety misdemeanors or marital wanderings but most will be at least somewhat relatable Ever since I was a kid on that dirt road I think that the biggest compelling engine in me has always been the desire to know what it feels like to be another person I just always have been pulled through life by that deep curiosity to know It s a frustration for me to not even know what like these fingers touching the desk would feel like if it wasn t me As a result I have watched and watched and listened to people all the time I m always trying to absorb the tiniest detail that I can see or hear from them from the Guardian interviewOlive is in the latter stages of her life We follow her into her 80s as her capacities decline and she must make unwelcome adjustments in her daily existence There are so many facets to Olive that she glistens like a diamond She is preternaturally crusty and can be a chore to be around enough so that Strout claims this is the reason she alternated Olive tales with stories of other Crosby residents but she has a sort of perceptual superpower that lets her see some core emotional elements in people and is able to jump in and act on her perceptions This is where her kindness her softer side her dynamism comes to the fore It is a thing of magnificent beauty when it does She is even able to embrace friendshipThere is considerable lyrical beauty in Strout s writing You could see how at the end of each day the world seemed cracked open and the extra light made its way across the stark trees and promised It promised that light and what a thing that was As Cindy lay on her bed she could see this even now the The iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but also the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby Maine Whether with a teenager comin.
Elizabeth Strout is the author of several novels including Abide with Me a national bestseller and BookSense pick and Amy and Isabelle which won the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize and was a finalist for the PENFaulkner Award and the Orange Prize in England In 2009 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her book Olive Kitteri