Friday, August 22, 2014

Currently Reading...

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

What I'm enjoying so far: One of my favorite scenes is the description Patty Howe cutting flowers in the second story while Kevin looks on, and the way the coast and the water were brought to life.  As someone who's spent a lot of time on the East Coast, and in particular the Northeast, there was something about the way the whole thing was written that so captured the feeling of being in that environment.  It was both beautiful and real - reminded me of Richard Russo's Empire Falls, in a way.

What I hope to see more of: I really want to see more of the townspeople and other, maybe less-central characters.  I don't know if they should be called less-central (I think Olive is supposed to be the central character?), but I'm enjoying reading about them and discovering their back stories, flaws, feelings, and memories.  Minor characters can be little gems when done well, and so far I like what Ms. Strout is doing with them.

My overall thoughts on the book: This was not at all what I expected - when I first saw this book, I didn't think it would be a series of short(er) stories.  It took me a bit by surprise (in a positive way).  It also doesn't feel as if the book - its characters, its setting and mood - is diminished by that structure.  Each story seems to get progressively richer.

Have you read Olive Kitteridge? Is it on your list? What were your thoughts?

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