Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Read Olive Kitteridge

I loved, loved, loved The Help .  Needless to say I have been uninspired to pick up another book since. I am going on vacation for the holidays , and I am in the market for yet another great novel.  So, today when I got an email from Alisa Bowman from the blog Project Happily Ever After, I immediately ordered this book from
 by Alisa Bowman
I read Olive Kitteridge over the summer. I read it because I posted on Facebook that I’d just read The Help and that I was somewhat certain the book had ruined novels for me. After reading The Help, all novels suck. They suck because The Help is the perfectly written novel. The characters are beautifully developed. The plotting is exquisite. You are transported into the South.
How could I ever read another book again? Everything would pale in comparison, wouldn’t it?
My friend Sheryl Kraft told me in no uncertain terms that everything would not pale in comparison. She told me to pick up a copy of Olive Kitteridge. Sheryl is a smart woman. I read her health blog and I follow every tip she delivers. If she told me to read Olive Kitteridge, well, dang it, I was going to read Olive Kitteridge. (Did I punctuate the previous sentence correctly? I struggled with that.)
I picked up the book. I don’t think I moved until I put down the book. Well, perhaps I went to the bathroom. I’m not sure.
I loved a lot about Olive Kitteridge. (The only thing I didn’t love was this: the word Kitteridge is hard to type without making a typo  Did I get through this post without making one?) What I loved the most, though, was this. Every single marriage portrayed in the novel is both wonderfully endearing and simultaneously wonderfully flawed. This novel gives you a realistic lifetime portrait of Olive’s marriage–and a realistic snapshot of several others. Every single marriage in the book–as are most marriages in real life–houses secrets, stress, and problems that are not necessarily visible to the outside world. At the same time, you can see quite clearly how these husbands and wives completely love one another.
It’s beautiful. You all ought to read it. Sheryl’s orders.

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