Elizabeth Strout

Love, Loneliness #ElizabethStrout

Even Freud had said, “We must love or we grow ill.” They were spelling it out for him. Every billboard, movie, magazine cover, television ad- it all spelled it out for him: we belong to the world of family and love. And you don’t.


Olive can understand why Chris has never bothered having many friends. He is like her that way, can’t stand the blah-blah-blah. Still, she has been worried about his being lonely.

She knows that loneliness can kill people  -in different ways can actually make you die. Olive’s private view is that life depends on what she thinks of as “big bursts” and “little bursts”. Big bursts are things like marriage or children, intimacies that keep you afloat, but these big bursts hold dangerous, unseen currents. Which is why you need the little bursts as well: a friendly clerk at Bradlee’s, let’s say, or the waitress at Dunkin’ Donuts who knows how you like your coffee. Tricky business, really.


She would like to say Listen, Dr. Sue, deep down there is a thing inside me, and sometimes it swells up like the head of a squid and shoots blackness through me. I haven’t wanted to be this way, but so God help me, I have loved my son.


Olive Kitteridge – Elizabeth Strout


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