Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible

Book - 2017
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"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"
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780812989403
Characteristics: 254 pages ; 22 cm


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Dec 13, 2017

I found this book difficult to follow and to keep track of the characters. I gave up trying and didn't finish the book. Not even sure what the story line truly is.

Oct 23, 2017

Fantastic read. Elizabeth Street makes all characters come to life. Beautiful, concise story teller.

Oct 11, 2017

More possible than impressive, or less impossible than authentic, giving me a blurred vision not caused by welled up eyes. Many characters appear overkill when first appeared, only some recovered in the later chapter after connect the dots.

Oct 03, 2017

Usually I'm not a fan of short stories, because I often find them quite abrupt; just when I get interested in them they end! But in the case of this collection I couldn't put the book down. The author weaves together the histories and lives of several people who all grew up in a small mid-west American town. There is so much pathos, such feeling for those who grew up under terribly poor or mistreated circumstances, and how they face their lives as adults. Really intriguing and honestly addictive, all the characters are somehow connected through circumstances to Lucy Barton.

Sep 13, 2017

Perhaps I was a little more distracted than usual while I was reading this book, but I found it quite difficult to hold on to the thread that runs through each story and connects the characters. The author's writing is beautiful, emotional and succinct. I enjoyed Olive Kitteridge immensely and I really liked My Name is Lucy Barton as well. I would suggest to any reader that they read this book over a short time period and in as few sessions as possible. It's a great book worth reading but I found it challenging.

Aug 11, 2017

One doesn't need a chart of connective tissue to link the characters in one story to that in the next though it sometimes felt like it'd be desirable to have had such a chart. Still, each story stands on its own, as it is meant to do, so such a reference sheet is not required.

I much prefer the longer story format over that of the short story thus I found this book a bit less satisfying than the Strout novels I've past consumed. The author's voice though, is crystal clear and spot-on and that is what makes this short story collection better than the average, and one I found myself returning to often enough to get through the entirety of it.

A very good read if you like short stories. Moderately less enjoyable if you prefer the longer works by this always high quality author.

AL_ANNAL Jul 14, 2017

This book consists of vignettes of residents of a small, poor town in middle America. Almost all are emotionally wounded, victims or perpetrators, living with the pain of trauma or remorse. The details of their lives as they struggle to be decent and kind and find love help the reader to see beyond the suffering to the possibility of happiness.

Jul 04, 2017

Although not as good as My Name is Lucy Barton, this loosely connected story is a collection of short stories about people in the town where Lucy grew up. Don’t read this book if you need an uplifting story. All of the characters in the book lead depressing live.

Jun 29, 2017

This identification of who's in what chapter might be helpful.

1. “The Sign” (Sewing and Alterations)
Tommy Guptill m. Shirley
Janitor at Lucy’s high school
Visits Lucy’s brother and Ken’s son,
Pete Barton

2. “Windmills”
Patty Nicely m. Sebastian
Sister Linda Peterson-Cornell
High school guidance counselor to
Lila Lane, Lucy’s niece
Crush on Charlie Macauley
Friends with Angelina Mumford
Buys Lucy’s novel
Witnessed Mother Kathy with
Mr. Delaney

3. “Cracked”
Linda Peterson-Cornell m. Jay
Father had affair with fat Aileen

4. “The Hit-Thumb Theory”
Charlie Macauley m. Marilyn
Affair with Tracy
One night at Dottie’s B&B

5. “Mississippi Mary”
Mary Mumford 2nd m. Paolo
Daughter Angelina m. Jack

6. “Sister”
Pete Barton
Sister Lucy Barton (saw Abel Blaine at signing)
Pete goes to soup kitchen with Guptills
Sister Vicky (Lila’s mom)

7. “Dottie’s B & B”
Dottie Blaine
Brother Abel
Customers Dr. Richard and Shelly Small
Annie Appleby
Charlie Macauley

8. “Snow Blind”
Elgin Appleby m. Sylvia
Children Annie, Jamie, Cindy
Charlene Daigle and dad
Mr. Potter

9. “Gift”
Abel Blaine m. Elaine
Sister Dottie
Daughter Zoe
Granddaughter Sophia/Snowball
Scrooge/Linck McKenzie

Jun 17, 2017

Elizabeth Strout once again scores with her latest book of delicately interwoven stories. A companion to Lucy Barton, this novel futher explores the relationships of the townspeople left behind in the small town of Amgash, Illinois after Lucy leaves. Lucy's presence is felt through out the tale. These simple, but heart breakingly beautiful stories are testament to the author's skill in using simple prose and elegant language to convey the small and larger triumphs and tragedies of ordinary folk. Elizabeth Strout is a master of the genre.

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