Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible

Book - 2017
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An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss. "Anything Is Possible" explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. It tells the story of the inhabitants of rural, dusty Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, a successful New York writer who finally returns, after seventeen years of absence, to visit the siblings she left behind.
Publisher: [London] :, Viking,, 2017.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 254 pages ;,21 cm.

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From Library Staff

Roberta's Pick: What is it about mid-west small town America that appeals so much, and how is it capable of producing a seemingly never-ending stream of outstanding writers? And Elizabeth Strout is one of the best that there is. Read this to understand, yet again, the power of writing to help you... Read More »


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Indoorcamping
Jul 29, 2020

You have to get into the rhythm of Elizabeth Strout’s writing to let yourself go enough to fall in love with her characters. Once you do, you are in a beautiful place where people are full of grit, sad, lonely, strong, mean to each other yet fall short while trying so hard to be the best they can.

It’s more or less a continuation of Lucy Barton but like all the author’s work, you don’t have to read the first one to fully enjoy the continuation, although Lucy Barton is the best book I read all year and if you haven’t read it, do it now! Lucy is a character with every reason to be bitter but is not, and is so what I wish I could be that I think I’ll reread it next, just to have that calm, steady voice in my head again.

This one is full of quirky characters and sad situations, the hallmark of this writer, and I’m here for it. Such a good way to get lost in someone else’s control and enjoy not being yourself for a while. And when you’re done, you can’t forget these characters who stick with you like fictional guardian angels. You are a better, more thoughtful person than before you picked up any of this author’s books because you see flaws and imperfections as quirks rather than reasons to avoid people.

That’s the trick of Elizabeth Strout: people are broken and that’s what makes them beautiful.

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JustaThot
Jun 13, 2020

It's hard for me to remember a book that touched me as much as, and in as many ways as, this book did. Strout has an amazing capacity to portray humans as we are--both the good parts and the bad. Having grown up in a small town myself, I was brought back there by how much of people's private lives everybody knew in this book. How sad. How true. But the kindnesses also moved me, and I'm sure they will every reader.

mko123 Dec 18, 2019

Elizabeth Strout has the ability to make you love, or at least understand her multitude of deeply flawed characters living in a poor, rural town. Just when you think someone is beyond redemption, grace steps in. I absolutely love this writer who speaks deep truths through unlikely voices.

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CarolynAnn4
Feb 05, 2019

I wouldn't have even picked this book up if not for bookclub and I certainly was not a fan of these short stories. I read all but the last two and, while I found the Lucy Barton one interesting, I really found them too pointless for my taste… I didn't like any of the characters. It is one of those books that I find people usually consider "LITERATURE" as if the author is trying so hard to not just tell a story that there is no real plot or anyone interesting for me.

j
jmreid1220
Dec 29, 2018

On Barack Obama's Top Books of 2017

w
wordsmith888
Jul 19, 2018

I really enjoyed chapter 1 and felt it was going to be a great book but after that, the more I read, the more I lost interest and stopped reading before I finished chapter 3. I found the characters in chapter 3 rather dull, lifeless and subversive and was not interested in knowing more about where their lives would lead them. Thus, the reason for my 2-star rating. I was very surprised to see that she won a Pulitzer Prize for this book!

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bktm2586
Jun 28, 2018

Elizabeth Strout is one of the best authors writing in America today. And most of the other comments reflect her skill and impact. However, I noticed one commentator who was confused by the book and gave up on it.

It is important to note that this book builds on characters Strout has used in her previous novels. Furthermore, this is not flow fiction; the chapters are free-standing, almost short stories, but with the same characters sometimes occurring in each. And this can be off-putting, or, at worst, confusing. It's like you didn't get the memo, or weren't let in on the joke. And the worst thing a writer can do is piss off the reader.

This is why I have sometimes recommended that people read her other novels first, in the order she wrote them. I read them as they came out over the years, but there are only six, so it shouldn't be that onerous.

A comment about 'no plot.' I thought most people, by now, who read literary fiction, have learned that this genre is not about the big finish; it's the journey, not the destination. Every paragraph has something in it worth reading and thinking about; don't skim. That's not what this form is about.

DPLjennyp Apr 06, 2018

I loved how each of the chapters highlights a different character, but that we catch glimpses of them in other stories. Strout is a master of this kind of storytelling.

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empbee
Mar 10, 2018

A cleverly constructed book with individual chapters that are connected by the same characters in various stages of their life in a small town. Warm without being sentimental.

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Blabbermouth
Feb 27, 2018

I didn't manage to see the beauty in the people of Amgash, Illinois but I did see the disturbed of the place.
It is the stories of the folk who live in a town where Lucy Barton was bought up & lived for her childhood years. Each chapter was a different person but some where in each story their paths intertwined with another person from part of another chapter. The writing style was great I just didn't get drawn to much about any of the people.

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bktm2586
Jun 28, 2018

bktm2586 thinks this title is suitable for 21 years and over

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Sam_Stewart
May 03, 2018

"Mary looked up at the ceiling and thought that what her daughter could not understand was what it had been like to be so famished. Almost fifty years of being parched. At her husband's forty-first birthday surprise party-and Mary had been so proud to make it for his forty-first so he'd be really surprised, and boy he was really surprised-she had noticed how he did not dance with her, not once. Later she realized he was just not in love with her." page 132

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