A perusal of my library’s digital audiobook library lead me to this book as it was in the “available now/hot commodity” bucket. This book is a sequel to Olive Kitteridge and I thought I remembered liking it, so I dove in. After scanning my review of the original book I learned that I really moreso thought it just okay, and I’d say my opinion of Strout is consistent. In fact, she is so consistent that my review of this book could literally be word for word the same as my review of the first book. To crib from myself:
I’m not quite sure what I think about this book. The literary device used is an interesting one. The author created several short stories about people in a small town. The main character, Olive Kitteridge, is in all of the stories, but not always as the main character. It is up to the reader to make sense of it all. It is definitely a novel to read quickly: because of the number of characters it can be difficult to remember who is connected or related to whom in the variety of tales.
Overall, the novel was interesting but I found it pretty depressing. The author attempted to give a glimpse into married life and families and seemed to only find dysfunction and heartbreak. I felt disheartened throughout, but definitely like the pearls of wisdom strewn throughout.
Literally exactly the same experience for me. Unconnected vignettes, people filled with ennui, and more trouble in one small time than should be possible. Sort of like how the number of murders in Cabot Cove, a sleepy Maine town, in the series Murder She Wrote don’t add up, the level of drama and intrigue at play here seems a bit steep. In addition, there were a number of story elements that seemed just thrown in for shock value. There was one story, when Olive was visiting an ill library Cindy, that had a poignancy and sweetness that resonated, but overall my opinion of this character and Mrs. Strout’s writing remain unchanged. If you really like Olive Kitteridge, you’ll likely really like this. If you were so-so on the original than this book, practically picking up where the other left off, might be more of a “take it or leave is” sort of situation.