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Showing posts from May, 2017

Elizabeth Strout - Olive Kitteridge

Having recently read My Name is Lucy Barton by New England writer, Elizabeth Strout, I turned to another by her, Olive Kitteridge, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.
Strout excels in characterisation through concision. Just a two-word expression by a character, which crops up through the text, is enough for this reader to more fully imagine what makes them tick. 
Olive Kitteridge is the type of character people love to hate, or hate to love. She is, on the surface, brusque, no-nonsense, plain-speaking, forthright. And she is, to a large degree, the same beneath the surface. A former 'math' teacher, each chapter introduces us to former pupils, neighbours, son, former daughter-in-law, and local shopkeepers, as they each contend with the struggles and strifes of life in a small New England community by the sea, (and the disapproval of 'the summer people') and Olive's interactions with each. The New Yorkerrecently featured a profile of Strout, by Ariel Levy…

Not pregnant

I am not pregnant. A couple of weeks ago, just a day after returning from a week in Cyprus, I had pains, which got so bad that I felt like jumping out of my own body and discarding it somewhere. Husby took me to the local hospital, which I had never wanted to step foot in due to an unsatisfactory appointment I had there a few months ago, which involved a patronising consultant and feeling like I had been dragged into the 1950s. Four hours after waiting in an A&E room that was only a third full, I was sent back home - nothing confirmed. The next day the pains were much worse - like nothing I had ever experienced, and hope I never will again. I felt like a tortured animal, with sounds to match. This time I was rushed back to the same hospital bypassing the waiting room, and within five minutes had been given enough morphine to take the edge off the pain. I was kept in overnight, and a miscarriage was confirmed. The nurses and doctors - all of whom save one were female - were exempl…