Olive Ketteridge

Olive Ketteridge by Elizabeth Strout

This a book which creeps up on you quietly although you can actually tell from the very first page that the writing is poetic yet absolutely clear and very readable. You wonder where the eponymous heroine is on this first of a collection of short stories all based in small town America….. Olive only gets a brief mention whereas her long suffering husband is centre stage. As the book progresses from middle to old age however we see the everyday trials and tribulations of this feisty and ultimately sympathetic heroine. We see her dealings with her neighbours, with a returned depressive native son and utterly central to the unfolding tale the relationship with both her husband and her own son who does his best to escape. The book became utterly riveting and even though I am not a fan of short stories the way these connected held me completely gripped. A must read particularly for those of us of a certain age !

EM

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