Olive Kitteridge

Olive Kitteridge

Book Club Kit
Average Rating:
Rate this:
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE * The beloved first novel featuring Olive Kitteridge, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Oprah's Book Club pick Olive, Again

"Fiction lovers, remember this name: Olive Kitteridge . . . . You'll never forget her." --USA Today

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post Book World * USA Today * San Francisco Chronicle * Chicago Tribune * Seattle Post-Intelligencer * People * Entertainment Weekly * The Christian Science Monitor * The Plain Dealer * The Atlantic * Rocky Mountain News * Library Journal

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 of Crosby, Maine, 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.

The inspiration for the Emmy Award-winning HBO miniseries starring Frances McDormand, Richard Jenkins, and Bill Murray
ISBN: 9780812971835
Branch Call Number: BOOK CLUB BAG Strout / Olive


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 28, 2020

Like the other comments below, I appreciated the fine writing and was moved by several of the stories but could only get through a portion of the book. If I owned the book I would read one or two stories and then put it aside for a time so as not to get too depressed.

Jan 20, 2020

Am I the only person who really DISLIKES this book? Every character is horrible in one way or another. I read half of the book then decided i couldn’t go any further.

I began reading this book with the preconceived notion that I was going to like it. I found it slow going and very depressing. Maybe I felt this way because I am middle aged. Maybe I felt this way because my middle aged boyfriend died this year. It was too real for me. I prefer something that I can use to escape reality and become part of in my mind. I did not want to be in this scenario because I am already there at 56. It was not for me. It was very well written though, and in that respect it deserved three stars.

Nov 16, 2019

I started reading this years ago, and I can't remember now why I stopped, but with the release of Olive, Again, I knew I had to finish. I really enjoyed the book, especially the stories that I had read before. Standouts for me include "A Little Burst" and "Basket of Trips", but I could easily list at least 3 others.

The characters all feel like real people living real lives. I recommend this to people who like to read linked stories and don't mind a slower read and flawed characters. Olive, particularly, can be hard to like but at other times is capable of great empathy. Similar authors include Richard Russo, Kent Haruf, and Marilynne Robinson.

Nov 03, 2019

Great stories about realistic people dealing with honest problems. So nice to read something centered on a woman of "mature years" that takes her and her emotions seriously.

Oct 20, 2019


Oct 15, 2019

Saw her interviewed on PBS in Oct 2019. This was her Pulitzer prize book, location is coastal Maine.

Oct 12, 2019


Jul 14, 2019

Very well-written; for once I could clearly understand something winning a Pulitzer! I came to appreciate Olive as a person more and more as the stories went on; I don't understand the reviews that describe her as such a hateful character. However, as much as I appreciated the author's skill, this will be one of those books I more admire and respect than enjoyed or have affection for.

Jul 04, 2019

I love the character (maybe I love Frances McDormand's portrayal of her more?) Basically, the book is a collection of short stories about the people in Olive's small Maine town and Olive is a (very tenuous) connecting thread. Most of the stories are actually pretty depressive. Not particularly uplifting or inspiring. This is a case where the TV show is actually better than the original material that inspired it.

View All Comments


Add a Summary
ArapahoeSusanW Oct 08, 2016

A real downer about aging, marriage and New England made me reach for the helpline.

Jul 06, 2015

My life story.


Add Age Suitability
nreynolds Sep 08, 2010

nreynolds thinks this title is suitable for 40 years and over


Add a Quote
PimaLib_SherrieB Dec 09, 2014

An innocent, Olive thinks, gazing at this woman. A real one. You don't find them anymore. Boy, you do not.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at OPL

To Top