The Between The Lines Book Club discussed Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout at this month's meeting. Many commented that Olive was not a very likable character but they would recommend the book. This is a collection of 13 short stories all of which feature Olive in some respect. Some stories directly involve her; in others she is an incidental character. It is almost like a study of a neighborhood - some neighbors you know in one way, while other people know that person in a completely different light.
This month's moderator, Sue, asked us at the beginning of the discussion to write down a one word description of Olive. After some discussion, she then asked us what word we used to describe Olive. It was an interesting exercise for two reasons - one, it showed how very different some of us viewed Olive (although most felt she was domineering and rude); two, it gave each of us a chance to make a contribution to the discussion, even those of us who are quieter and tend not to comment much.
Olive Kitteridge won the Pulitzer Prize For Fiction in 2009 and was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. Some commented they were unsure why the book had won such a prestigious award. The consensus was that it was a unique way of presenting short stories. Why not check it out for yourself?!