Book Review :: Olive Kitteridge


Elizabeth Strout, an American author is the writer of the novel “Olive Kitteridge”. The novel was written in the English language and published on March 25, 2008 in the United States of America. It has a hard cover with 280 pages.

The theme

This book x-rays and mirrors human conditions and circumstances revealing the joys, woes and conflicts of the human personality as expressed in the character of Olive. The book has its setting in Crosby, Maine. The principal character is Olive, a quintessential personality who is the pivot and architect of the actions in the novel.

The book is an action packed novel divided into sections of thirteen short stories that are interwoven but differ in their expressions and narrations.

The awards

This novel has won series of awards like the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2009, the finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Premio Bancarella of 2010, and another 8 awards at the Primetime Emmys of 2015.

The Genres

This novel could be classified into about five specific genres, which are the short stories, contemporary novel, adult fiction, book club, and literary fiction.


The characterization is based on the Kitteridge’s family. You will see

  1. Olive Kitteridge – the principal or central character, who is a Mathematics teacher and a volunteer worker for the Red Cross Society in America.
  2. Henry Kitteridge – the pharmacist in Crosby and Olive’s husband.
  3. Pauline Kitteridge – she is Olive’s mother-in- law and the mother of henry.
  4. Christopher Kitteridge – he is the son of Henry and Olive.
  5. Bernstein Kitteridge – a Jew and the first wife of Christopher, who is also called Dr. Suzanne.
  6. Ann Kitteridge – she is the second wife of Christopher Kitteridge
  7. Ora- she is the auntie of Olive
  8. Lounge Patrons and the workers
  9. Burham’s family
  10. Granger’s family
  11. Foster’s family
  12. Thibodeau’s family
  13. Houlton family
  14. Larkin’s family
  15. And other town folks

The Plot

The plot and storylines you will find in this novel are formed around thirteen major factors and narratives, which are the pharmacy, piano player, incoming tide, a little burst, criminal, winter concert, basket of trips, a different road, security, river, ship in a bottle, starving, and tulips. These narratives and stories are interrelated and interwoven into this classic novel titled “Olive Kitterridge”, after the name of the central character ‘Olive’ who is seen participating in one action or the other in all the stories.


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