Review: Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

Title: Anything is Possible
Author: Elizabeth Strout
Pages: 272
Genre: Fiction, Literary Fiction
Source: Free ARC from Random House

Rating: A+

Note: As stated under the Source (above), I received this book for free from Random House via NetGalley. I pride myself on writing fair and honest reviews.

Review: Anything is Possible is a collection of short stories about people who come from the world of Lucy Barton (My Name is Lucy Barton). She is mentioned in nearly every story, one of which is about her brother, another about the school janitor who kept an eye out for her over the years, and so on. In at least one story, she is a key character and we learn a great deal more about her childhood. However, while reading this book made me want to revisit My Name is Lucy Barton, it isn’t really about her.

Like everything I’ve read by Elizabeth Strout, it’s about the human condition, about life and living, pain and suffering, love and forgiveness, family and friendship. It’s about dreams realized and dreams shattered and futures never imagined. It sheds light on the differences in experience and perspective and desire and levels of satisfaction in people, how we misunderstand each other, make unfair assumptions, but also how we stand up for each other even when we don’t feel like it. How it’s never too late, almost anything can be forgiven, and anything is possible.

One of my favorite things about Strout’s work is that she isn’t afraid to go there, to lift up the covers, open the door to the dark basement, examine all the ugly stuff that comes along with the human experience. And when she goes below the surface, she humanizes those who would otherwise be demonized, reminds us how complex we really are, how we never know the whole story. I can’t imagine that I’ll ever get tired of her work. Like everything else she’s written, Anything is Possible reached down into my soul and stirred it all up, leaving me a little raw, and a lot better off.

I can’t wait to see what she does next!

4 Replies to “Review: Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout”

  1. I have read nothing but glowing reviews of this book and her other works. I loved ‘My Name is Lucy Barton’ and hope to read this one in the future among her other works. Great review!

Leave a Reply