Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth StroutRead about another entry on the list.
Like [Anne] Tyler, Elizabeth Strout is interested in ordinary people, living apparently ordinary lives. And, also like Tyler, she manages to uncover all the transient joy and sorrow that such lives contain.
Olive Kitteridge won Strout the Pulitzer Prize in 2009, and was recently turned into a gorgeous HBO mini-series, starring Frances McDormand as Olive, Strout’s cantankerous antihero. Olive’s troubled relationship with her pharmacist husband Henry is the fulcrum around which the book turns, elapsing in a series of loosely connected stories.
It’s not a conventional love story, by any means - not least because the central characters dip in and out of the narrative. But it is a courageous, and wonderfully poignant, examination of a tricky marriage, and the layers of love and resentment and shared experience that underpin it. And there are many other kinds of love, too, to be found among the diverse inhabitants of this small Maine town. Just beautiful.