16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
LITERATURE, not "fiction", excellent writing but serious subjects underly the stories,
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This review is from: Olive Kitteridge (Paperback)
You can see this book has gotten very good reviews and it won a Pulitzer. The writing is very very good. However, I can see how someone younger, i.e. not middle aged or older, might not be as engrossed by the stories and the ideas. A strong theme throughout this collection is dealing with the consequences of our lifelong behaviors, and facing painful realities. If you have lived long enough to have contemplated your life in this way, and have ALLOWED yourself to think about these things, these stories will be fascinating. The main character, Olive, didn't realize how her behavior afffected the people she loved until it was really too late for anything but minor restoration of relationships. After finishing it I was sad for Olive, for what she missed out on by her mindless careening through life. This isn't a heavy handed morality tale and Olive does come to a sense of peace but the issues really hit home for me.
It really is a tragedy that there are people who never arrive at a realization of how their behavior negatively and continually damages their relationships and drives others away. It is a tragedy both for them and for their family members who tried to love them.
Don't buy this book if you aren't comfortable with stories about this type of later life reckoning. There's no happy ending here, but excellent writing and much to ponder with each of the stories.