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on 20 May 2017
This is a mind-blowing book, could not recomment it more. However, be careful with the Kindle edition: in a move that left me utterly enraged, the editor thought of giving a chapter from another book by Elizabeth Strout, WITHOUT bothering to signal this in any way -- it looks as if it were another chapter in Olive Kitteridge. This is an awful service to the reader, and left me utterly puzzled until I realised that "River" was the final chapter. Shame on the publisher, and many thanks to the author for such vivid, long-lasting waves of emotion.
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on 19 October 2017
What I found fascinating about this book was that at first I disliked Olive who seemed a sour and bitter person and most unkind to her husband, but as I got to 'know' her she became increasingly sympathetic, and by the end I really loved her, and realised why she ended up feeling that life had been unkind to her. Beautifully written and although it's a series of short stories, the constancy of Olive Kitteridge's presence makes it read like a fully fledged novel.
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on 22 May 2017
Olive is not a character that charms and delights but she is complex and interesting. The other cast of characters are varied and you move back and forth between effortlessly due to the quality of the writing and development of their lives
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on 6 June 2016
A beautifully written story - individual characters' stories that have a link - which is Olve Kitteridge. A book that needs you to read every word to fully appreciate the author's wonderful writing style.
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on 4 September 2017
I have only recently found Elizabeth Strout and am really blown away by the quality of her writing. Olive is the character who links all the stories in this 'novel' and Strout brings her to life in a clever way, revealing something new about her in each of the 'chapters'. It's the kind of book which made me want to go back and read it again, this time armed with all I'd learned about Olive. I think this would add a completely new dimension to it. If you like Anne Tyler, you'll love this.
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on 8 April 2018
This book was fantastic. Elizabeth Strout is able to paint such intensely vivid characters, not always likeable but always real. The only negative point is the kindle edition which runs straight from the end of the book (the final chapter is River) into the first chapter of her next book, “The Burgess Boys”. With no explanation or introduction, this left me utterly confused until I searched to discover the problem. It’s completely unacceptable as it ruins the lyricism of the book’s beautiful ending with a jarring and unlinked beginning to another story. Kindle should really be looking into this and making the necessary changes.
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on 26 October 2016
Just finished reading this and I did enjoy it. Not that Olive is an easy person to like - where does her rage come from? - but somehow I did like her despite her flaws, and was glad that in the end she seemed to find some peace.

Enjoyed the short story format once I got my head around how that worked. All these lives in various kinds of crisis, all so close together and yet unaware of each other.

The final chapter took me by surprise as there was nothing about Olive. But I think the author is hoping I'll buy 'The Burgess Boys' as well ..... Perhaps so, but not just yet.
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on 1 January 2018
Sad in some ways but ultimately inspiring and moving novel about an oddball, flawed mother-wife's lack of personal insight about the effects she has on others - yet she copes and has little triumphs. Small town New England lives, fascinating characters, keenly and beautifully observed.
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on 22 January 2017
What a lovely book. It's a story of closely observed people and such a gentle read. Some of the connections seem a little tenuous and forgettable, but I didn't want to put this book down.
My copy was published in 2011. This is pertinent because it's the only book I've every come across where I actually had to hold it open at every turn of the page. And now I've finished it, there is no sign that it has been read, the spine remains uncreased. Must be something to do with how the book is glued together. But I loved the book and would/will recommend it to all.
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on 4 September 2016
How anyone, ever could come up with such a visceral, so cleverly put together novel is beyond me. But I'm so glad Elizabeth Strout did. Story telling at it's absolute best. Compassionate, hilarious, tragic, all of life's moments captured in a mind-bogglingly intertwined wonderful way. One of my favourite books ever.
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