Olive Kitteridge: Character Connection

I have an affiliate relationship with Bookshop.org and Malaprop's Bookstore in beautiful Asheville, NC. I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you if you purchase merchandise through links on my site. Read more on my affiliate page.
Character Connection Button

We all have characters we love. Let’s spotlight these fantastic creations! Whether you want to be friends with them or you have a full-blown crush on them, you know you love them and want everyone else to love them too!

Most of you will probably post about how much you love each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write a love letter to Captain Wentworth. Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Draw a picture of yourself in Jamie’s arms. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

My character this week is Olive Kitteridge from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name by Elizabeth Strout.

Olive is a horrible person in a way.  Notice I said person and not character.  This is what I said about her in my review:

Olive is obviously at the heart of this collection of stories. It’s very easy for fictional characters to be all good or all bad. I had moments where I hated Olive, cheered her on, admired her, pitied her, and even loathed her. But if you look deeply inside all of us, isn’t that the way we would really feel about everyone? We see Olive’s warts, but we see that she’s constantly learning, even as she ages. There’s none of that business about old dogs and new tricks here. She changes and learns when she’s ready to, and I think that’s how we all are.

Olive Kitteridge Book Cover

Just when I would decide that there was no redeeming quality to this woman, she would do something amazingly thoughtful and kind.  Her biggest redeeming trait is that she does learn from her mistakes and try to improve herself.  She might have waited most of a lifetime to do it, but “better late than never” definitely applies in cases like this, I think.  She’s so complex that she became a real person to me.  Granted, she’s not someone I would really want to spend much time with in real life, but she jumped off the page, fully formed.  Just reading her name brings back all those complicated feelings I had for her as I read this book.

Who did you connect with this week? Write a post and link up! Be sure to visit everyone else’s posts too!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:


  1. I read this book also, and I found myself liking Olive more towards the end of the book — she seemed to mellow out somewhat. Have you read Ms. Strout's earlier book "Amy and Isabelle"? It's a novel (not short story form like Olive), and I thought it was good also.

  2. I loved her, too. Despite (or maybe because of) her faults. I also loved her husband. I think I feel a little in love with him.

    I loved how well Ms. Strout wrote a Maine woman, too. I can think of a few older Maine women who are just like Olive. It's kinda sad, but such great writing!

  3. I loved Olive, in a prickly kind of way. I describe her to people like Dorothy from "The Golden Girls." Outspoken, judgmental, brusk, but caring. I thought she was fantastic.

  4. I have heard of that book but never read it. However, good character connection – I love characters that are so real like that.

    I love characters where you see all of them – not just the 'good' side or the 'bad' side. I love wholesome characters like that.

  5. What a great connection. I had the same feelings about Olive. You love her, but she drives you crazy!

  6. That's a great character choice. I am mot familiar with Oliver – YET – but I want to become familiar with thus character after reading your post. It was great to read.

I love to hear from you! Please contact me (menu bar, above) if you're having trouble commenting.