Patron Pick: Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout

Who could ever forget Olive Kitteridge, the Pulitzer Prize winning book by Elizabeth Strout? Olive was at times unbearable, endearing and like so many people in our families. And oh, maybe a bit like ourselves? So, I was pretty interested to see what Elizabeth would do if she did a revisit of Olive. Well, she did not disappoint. I laughed, felt so sad, wanted to kill her, and couldn’t put the book down. She is still living in Crosby, Maine with a number of most interesting neighbors. Her beloved Henry is dead, so she is dealing with the grief of that loss in her inimitable style. The townspeople whose stories were told were funny, tragic and just befuddling. I won’t do a spoiler here, but let’s just say imagine what you would do if your adult daughter came home to tell you about a documentary that was done about her in which she is a dominatrix? Perhaps we like to think we would be open and accepting, but how would we really react? You will have to read the book to see how Strout handled that one. It is a somewhat light read, but full of Strout’s own wonderful take on small townness and life. Maybe this book would be a good manual for living in our small towns.

— Review by Linden Jordan