Publisher: Random House
Cover Price: $14.00
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 profoun insights into the human condition-its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires."
2 Beans Worth: Olive Kitteridge is a Pulitzer Prize Winner, it was part of the Random House Reader's Circle, and it had many great reviews on its cover. So, why does my review not match theirs? Well, as I read the review quotes a bit closer, I realized it actually does.
It seems the whole book is about Olive, and that was where my focus was when I rated and reviewed the book. However, that's not really the case. Olive is in the center of it all, but there are 13 others who stories are also told. Those characters were great for me to read. I thorougly enjoyed them for the most part.
Yet, Olive is the center, and Olive is an extremely negative character. I had a really hard time not putting the book down, because her negativity at times was just too much for me. Sadly, I think part of it was that it hit a little too close to home for me. I could all too easily relate to her son and his myriad of emotions when it came to dealing with his mom. It's that unique love-hate dynamic that develops between a child and a parent when the relationship is dysfunctional.
So ironically, because of Olive's negativity, I am giving the book a negative review. Olive's character kept the book at 1 cup (I didn't like it), but the other characters kept it elevated to 2 cups (It was okay).