A Love Letter to Elizabeth Strout

olive-kitteridge“Nobody knows everything – they shouldn’t think they do.” (Page 74)

Dear Elizabeth,

I’m sorry, I have to apologize.  I can’t review your book.  At least, I can’t call this a review because it’s blubbering drivel of the worshiping variety.

This is easily the best book I have read this year.  You write like I want to write.  You write delicious sentences that make my heart ache.  You take the word shit and you make it sound beautiful.  You wrote a book about a woman who is overbearing and obnoxious and made me love her.  I love her like I love my own grandmother.

Do you want more compliments?  Because I could sing your praises for hours and never get tired.  In fact, I’m thinking about transferring to Charlotte, NC just so I can learn things from you.  I’ve only ever thought about doing that for one other person, and that’s Mr. Komunyakaa.  You deserved every ounce of the Pulitzer.   When I started reading Olive Kitteridge, I felt like you had written this novel just for me.  The first “story” was perfect and I couldn’t believe that you would be able to match it.  But every single story has left me weak in the knees with the beauty and simplicity.  You write novels like poetry, but it comes across so effortless.  I know that you probably spent days, maybe months, mapping out how the lives would interact with dear Olive, but it feels so real to me.  This is not something you made up, all these people really live in Maine.  I wish I lived in Maine.

The ending of this novel gave me chills.  I just can’t even put into words how absolutely perfect it was.  I love this novel unconditionally, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  I’m just so absolutely jealous of you, Elizabeth Strout, for writing this novel about imperfect people making the best of an imperfect world.

I’m going to miss you, Elizabeth, when I go on to read another novel.  I’ll be returning to you, I promise.  Soon, soon.  You have knocked my TBR list to shreds, and that’s okay.  I can forgive you for that.  Just write me more beautiful stories.  Please?

Love,
Lu

Also reviewed at (far more objectively and professionally):

A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook
Fizzy Thoughts
Farm Lane Book Blog
Biblio File
Nonsuch Book
Page 247

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12 thoughts on “A Love Letter to Elizabeth Strout

  1. Such a great idea for a review!

    I really hope that Elizabeth Strout replies to you – have you thought of sending it to her personally?

    I loved this book too, but not enough to want to move to Charlotte!!

  2. I also loved this review! Sometimes, when a book really is that good, all you can do is rave. Now I’m even more excited to try this one; I find the Pulitzer can be variable in its quality, but I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about this one.

  3. I’m with Nymeth – awesome review! I ‘ve seen mixed rxs to this – but this was so fun to read and I got carried away along side with you!

  4. Great review. I was born in Maine and spent my childhood and teen years there. You are right about Olive and the other folks. They do live there…I’ve met them some of them.

    Would you mind if I added a link to your review from my review?

  5. […] Olive Kitteridge was a beautiful novel that not only won the Pulitzer but completely won me over, too.  Like The Things They Carried, it has staying power, at least on my top ten list.  2666 might have changed the way I read and my focus of study for my master’s.  The Grapes of Wrath and Something Wicked This Way Comes are two classics I read this year that lived up to their praise and also changed me as a reader.  Even though City of Thieves isn’t perfect, it ended up being one of my funniest reads of the year that still has me chuckling when I just think about some of the jokes included. […]

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