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The welcome return of Olive Kitteridge

Elizabeth Strout reveals life to us in moments of banality

By Finn McRedmond   Winter Special
Elizabeth Strout Credit: Wikimedia commons

Elizabeth Strout Credit: Wikimedia commons

The provincial town of Crosby, Maine is home to arson, suicide, robbery and everything else befitting a US crime thriller. It’s also home to Elizabeth Strout’s heroine—a waspish and stubborn retired teacher. Eleven years on from our first encounter with Olive in Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, Olive Kitteridge, she has returned, widowed and in her early eighties.

Olive, Again follows the same formula. Thirteen short stories are held together by Olive’s presence as she oscillates between leading and supporting roles. Sometimes…

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