Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Elizabeth Strout is one the best American writers working today. She is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Olive Kitteridge, and last year’s devastatingly brilliant short novel My Name is Lucy Barton. Her new novel, Anything is Possible, is something of a companion piece to My Name is Lucy Barton, although it stands on its own as an outstanding work of literature.
My Name is Lucy Barton is about a woman who grew up in deep poverty in rural Illinois and, against the odds, became a successful writer in New York. Anything is Possible tells of the people she left behind. The novel is structured as a series of linked stories, with each chapter focusing on a different character, gently teasing out a web of connections between them all.
Like Anne Tyler and Marilynne Robinson, Strout is concerned with the small, intimate details of a person’s life. She captures the moments that weigh heavy on her character’s hearts, and she is especially good when writing about mothers and daughters. In the pages of Anything is Possible, you’ll find deep suffering, dysfunctional marriages, regrets, gossip, broken hearts, juicy secrets and profound realisations.
If you’ve already enjoyed My Name is Lucy Barton, then you’ll need little convincing to pick up Anything is Possible. If you’ve never read Strout at all, you can certainly start here – but for an even richer experience, read My Name is Lucy Barton and Anything is Possible back to back.
Nina Kenwood is the marketing manager for Readings.