August, 2012: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stroud

(Book #28) Mary hosted this lovely evening serving a plum chicken recipe with rice and a great salad. For dessert she served bite-size brownies just like the ones Olive was putting out for the funeral reception while at first wondering why anyone would cut brownies so small and later finding it so handy to pop one and then a second into her mouth!

We thoroughly enjoyed the book — the way each story only gives some information, some information is held till much later and sometimes we hear it communicated more than once, just as it often happens in life — and we have to piece the parts together. We agreed that the chapters were less successful, less captivating when Olive is only mentioned tangentially.  In the end, we felt we would have liked to know more about her relationship with her son, why she was so hard on him — but we liked her, and we liked the book.

I handed out summaries of 24 books to be considered for next year at this meeting, getting organized for 2013. And the other auspicious event related to this gathering is that Olive Kitteridge seems to be the first book I reviewed on Goodreads — as paltry as my review may have been!