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Author of AGAINST A DARKENING SKY, THE EMPTY ROOM, OUR DAILY BREAD, and others. Find out more at www.LaurenBDavis.com. I read as if my sanity depended upon it.. . . oh, wait, it does! Snort.

Olive Kitteridge: Fiction

Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout There are so many good things to say about this book that it's hard to know where to begin.First, there is the structure. The book is marketed as a novel-in-stories, and that's fine, but it doesn't really do it justice. This is a novel in which Olive Kitteridge is the main character, the one capable of the most change and of causing the most change to happen. Some of the 'stories' are told with Olive in full central spotlight, but in many she's peripheral, sometimes little more than a walk-on. Because of this, we get a sense that Olive is very much who she is because of where she is, and because of the people with whom she shares this landscape. It's a wonderful device. I am reminded of James Agee's book, Let Us Know Praise Famous Men, in that section where he slides out across the town, into the minds of the townspeople, to let the reader see how the family with whom he's living is perceived by others. But here Strout shows us not only how Olive looks to others, but she shows us how the way she acts affects others once she's walked away. It's riveting.Second, there's the writing. It's splendid. This is a book concerned with loss- of youth, of relationships and of one's illusions -- TO READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW, PLEASE GO TO: IN PRAISE OF BOOKSThank you.