I really started out liking this book but as it went on I found Olive to be a depressing character that I just couldn't find any endearing qualities about. It was a different kind of book and I'm sure many people will enjoy it more than I did.
Several short stories that are interconnected. Some of the stories I enjoyed but not all.
This book is about an odd , fairly miserable woman who has very little empathy for others. Yet, somehow she is a person who tugs at our heart. We all know someone like this. In addition, the book has an odd ending. It gets a 4 on average, which I consider very good. It was not my cup of tea, however, so my rating is a 2.
This took me forever to read because it was an audiobook that I kept forgetting to turn on. I found it, at times, tedious, and wondered where it was headed, but looking back at the entirety I will say I mostly enjoyed it and am glad I read it. I liked the way it ended as well. Olive was not so very likeable and not so very happy, but I think much of the point is that none of us is 100% different from her. We're giving, helpful, cheerful, stingy, grumpy, and illogical. Sometimes we aren't sure why we feel or act a certain way or why other people do. Our kids are loved, enjoyed, and tolerated, and sometimes we don't enjoy them at all (and back at us from them). Most people I know seem more likeable and less unhappy than Olive, but she did learn some things along the way. I don't generally enjoy reading stories about people who are so unhappy. Recent characters I felt that way about are Eleanor Oliphant and Britt-Marie. But overall I'm glad I read those books and this one also.
I have generally been happy with pulitzer prize winning books. I loved both Lonesome Dove & The Road so I thought I'd give this a try.
I'm not one for short stories, but I enjoyed this book. Olive Kitteridge is in each story, sometimes as a centerpiece character & in others a tertiary character. Olive was at times difficult to like & other times funny. Whatever was going on, I found her always compelling. Most of the stories and their characters, I thought, were captivating in their own way. The stories were written with great rhythm & not remotely boring. Ultimately, I felt I got a snapshot in time of the various people in Olive's life and they were often sad, troubled, unhappy but there were also times of joy and love. Even though the positive moments were fleeting, the life many of the characters lived were written in an honest and real manor. I felt these people and their circumstances could really have happened...lost loves, old age, angry children, infidelity, suicidal ideation, new love, grief & just plain neuroses.
I cannot say that this book was my favorite, but it was different, interesting, intriguing. Yes, sad at times, but also uplifting and inspirational in how people picked up & carried on. Some may view this book to be about aging, family or even love. I believe this book's about perseverence-never give up.
I feel a review of the narration is important too since we rely so heavily on the narrator's interpretation of the book. I thought Sandra Burr's narration was quite slow. However, I thought her timing perfect. Listening to her read, I was not distracted but captivated by her. She did not read the book in any particular accent. However, when she did the voices, she used the Maine accent. She also sounded youthful or old when needed. She managed the men's voices quite well too. there were many times that her interpretation of the characters' voices punctuated my positive experience, & made it seem more real.