Synopses & Reviews
At the edge of the continent, Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer's eyes, it's in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama - desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love.At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn?t always recognize the changes in those around her: a lounge musician haunted by a past romance; a former student who has lost the will to live; Olive's own adult child, who feels tyrannized by her irrational sensitivities; and her husband, Henry, who finds his loyalty to his marriage both a blessing and a curse. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life ? sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition - its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.2009 Pulitzer Prize winner in the Letters, Drama and Music category
"Strout's tale of an aging schoolteacher too obsessed with the deterioration of her little town of Crosby, Maine, to realize the problems plaguing her own life, is read with vigor by Sandra Burr. Burr's reading makes Strout's characters rich and wonderful in every way, bringing a well-rounded originality to each one. As Olive, Burr's voice slips into a nagging, aged groan that seems perfectly suited for the central character's downtrodden personality. As Olive's husband, Henry, Burr is understated yet powerful. She understands this poignant tale so entirely that her reading becomes reality for the listener. There is a certain melancholy that infects this story, and Burr is poised to capture and relate it to her audience. Simultaneous release with the Random House hardcover (Reviews, Dec. 10)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
In a small coastal town in Maine, Olive Kitteridge is the complex and often unpredictable town crier, a person who sees into the hearts of others, discerning their triumphs and tragedies, while not always seeing herself. A retired schoolteacher, she plays a leading or subsidiary role in many lives, always with a strong and convincing mixture of psychological insight and anger, compassion and deep resentment. Around her swirl such characters as a lounge singer haunted by a past love, a young man who aches for the mother he lost whom Olive comforts by her mere presence while her own son feels tyrannized by her overbearing sensitivities, and her stoic husband is bound to her in a marriage both broken and strong. These are the penetrating tales of the human soul in need sometimes despairing, more often redeemed. Elizabeth Strout, in her lambent prose and amazing humanity, offers us one of modern literatures richest characters and profound insight into the human condition.