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Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge is "a novel of stories," that all revolve around Olive Kitteridge, a retired seventh-grade math teacher in Crosby, Maine. She's married to Henry, a kind pharmacist and they have one son. Olive, though, is a larger-than-life force to be reckoned with. She's large, stubborn, opinionated, and more than willing to speak her mind. The thirteen stories concern her relationship with her husband, her son, her neighbors, and her ex-students. Olive is more complex and feeling than she seems, and she struggles with the changes in her life. Elizabeth Strout's novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "The pleasure in reading Olive Kitteridge comes from an intense identification with complicated, not always admirable, characters. And there are moments in which slipping into a character's viewpoint seems to involve the revelation of an emotion more powerful and interesting than simple fellow feeling - a complex, sometimes dark, sometimes life-sustaining dependency on others. There's nothing mawkish or cheap here. There's simply the honest recognition that we need to try to understand people, even if we can't stand them."