Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Random House: 4/25/17
eBook review copy; 272 pages
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout is a very highly recommended transcendent postscript to My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016). This is a superb novel.
Anything Is Possible returns us to Amgash, Illinois, and explores
the stories found in the lives of others who lived there and the
connections they have to each other and Lucy. This exquisite novel is
told through a series of chapters that are individual stories which
capture the fundamental essence of people's lives (the same approach she
took in Olive Kitteridge). Strout manages to capture the whole
spectrum of human emotions across the years in these perfect individual
but interconnected vignettes.
The themes are timeless, including: the search for love and happiness;
self-respect; faith; the bonds of families; divorce and infidelity; the
gulf between poverty and privilege; violence and abuse; The individual
stories together to create a portrait of a community and those who had
ties to it. Not all the stories are completely sad, but they all have a
melancholy undertone as the characters have faced the complexities of
life and grown from their experiences (or not).
The writing is extraordinary, impeccable, and... just perfect. The
characters and setting in each story are finely drawn and eloquently
described, even when the lives are damaged and struggling.
My review copy was courtesy of Random House.