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Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
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Anything Is Possible

by Elizabeth Strout

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8467415,355 (4.01)87

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Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
I'm not averse to books with an optimistic perspective, it's just that I am primarily wanting to read stories that I find believable. Unlikely happy endings are what I call 'romance', and I'm not really interested. That said, I do have a fundamentally positive view of people. Deep down I think most people want to do the right thing by their friends, family, neighbours and their community. Elizabeth Strout is very good at painting pictures of people who have major flaws but their inherent goodness becomes apparent. In the right context you can see someone behave differently to how you may have characterised them from their past behaviour. Strout clearly understands that people are complex and even in short stories such as these she reveals that complexity in a way that draws the reader into their lives. ( )
  oldblack | Sep 18, 2018 |
Anything is Possible was my book club’s July selection. It’s not quite a short-story collection but not quite a novel either. Each chapter is a vignette focusing on a different person. All of the main characters in each chapter are connected to the main characters of the other stories in some way – some more closely than others. A couple of people in my book club had trouble keeping track of the relationships between the characters but I didn’t find it to be a problem.

Lucy Barton, the main character of Strout’s novel My Name is Lucy Barton, is mentioned in a few of the stories in this book and she is a character in one of them. However, this book is not a sequel to that book. I haven’t read that book and it didn’t seem to matter much in reading this one. Others in my book club who had read My Name is Lucy Barton agreed that it was not necessary. However, some of the other reviews I’ve read of this book indicate that you will enjoy Anything is Possible even more if you have read My Name is Lucy Barton.

These stories in this book are melancholy, yet hopeful and filled with likeable and sympathetic characters. It’s slow paced and mostly just a slice of life for each character. Even so, I enjoyed it along with most of the members of my book club. ( )
  mcelhra | Aug 3, 2018 |
Love Elizabeth Strout, loved this book, my only comment is that this book is best read right after "My Name is Lucy Barton" as many characters were in that novel as well and it was hard to remember who was who and how they fit into the story. Each chapter is a different person's story, and that all relate to one another somehow, ad they all relate to Lucy Barton. It was great to revisit them all and see how they are doing and what had happened to them! ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
Series of short stories of people that surrounded one of the main characters from the book My name is Lucy Barton. Author can certainly spin an interesting yarn but I didn’t like all many of the characters from the stories. It was sad, nobody seemed happy and were just surviving day to day. I was always trying to remember how ome character related to another. ( )
  janismack | Jun 5, 2018 |
I love short stories in general, and I particularly love when short stories interlock in interesting ways to make a larger whole. This book benefits from having read My Name is Lucy Barton first, but you don't need all the details (or probably any of them) to enjoy Elizabeth Strout's beautiful writing and her glimpses of the drama in everyday life. ( )
  duchessjlh | Jun 2, 2018 |
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Epigraph
Dedication
For my brother, Jon Strout
First words
Tommy Guptill had once owned a dairy farm, which he'd inherited from his father, and which was about two miles from the town of Amgash, Illinois.
Quotations
This was the skin that protected you from the world--this loving of another person you shared your life with.
And you have always taken up so much space in my heart that it has sometimes felt to be a burden.
What puzzled Abel about life was how much one forgot but then lived with anyway--like phantom limbs, he supposed.
Right behind it was the last of the day's full light; generously, the colors from the setting sun sprayed upward over the open sky.
Panic, like a large minnow darting upstream, moved back and forth inside him.
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Book description
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout's place as one of America's most respected and cherished authors.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812989406, Hardcover)

From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout comes a brilliant latticework of fiction reminiscent of Olive Kitteridge.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 09 Oct 2016 12:12:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Here are two sisters: One trades self-respect for a wealthy husband while the other finds in the pages of a book a kindred spirit who changes her life. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother's happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author's celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout's place as one of America's most respected and cherished authors"--Amazon.com.… (more)

» see all 6 descriptions

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