For some reason, right around the holidays, I always seem to read a book (or books) that pack an emotional wallop. Maybe it’s because I usually have a couple days off work so I feel I can tackle something engrossing. Maybe with all the holiday cheer I feel armed against depressing fiction. This year, I picked up my Back to the Classics award winner – Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. This book won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2008. I bought the book soon after, and it has been sitting on my shelf ever since.
The writing is Pulitzer Prize caliber. Every detail is perfect. Every interaction is exquisite. Strout is able to capture a wide spectrum of interpersonal relationships in all their joy, pain, confusion, love, and inevitable loss. The book was, at the same time, emotionally draining and emotionally rewarding.
So my Back to the Classics Challenge is off to a wonderful start. I can’t recommend this book highly enough!