Strout, Elizabeth. Olive Kitteridge. New York: Random House, 2008.
This book is a collection of short stories pressed into a novel. Each story could be read separately, but they follow members of one community so they are intertwined. Olive Kitteridge, the title's namesake, makes appearances in almost all of the stories in some way.
I really don't have much to say about this book. It wasn't bad, but it's not a book that really touched me (or perhaps I'm still thinking about it to figure out how it touches me). I liked that you could read each story on its own, but the common denominator was Olive strung throughout the narrative.
Strout's writing style is not complex, but she does include descriptions of events or people that create an absolute picture of the character or situation. For example, the piano player Angie is described as having "hungry hands" for the keyboard (Strout 51). Strout offers the life philosophy that "People mostly did not know enough when they were living life that they were living it" (162).
As I read, I wondered what my story would read like if other people were telling it, like Olive's story is told.