I find something magical about stories that dance around characters. In Strout’s newest work, each story, or if you read it like a novel, each chapter, is from a different perspective of one of the current or former inhabitants of Amgash, Illinois. Slowly we figure out everyone is tangentially connected to Lucy Barton, a previous Strout protagonist. The tales veer from dark to light, from brutal to quirky, and from haves to have-nots, though even some of the haves were once eating garbage out of dumpsters. When the struggling Patty Nicely and her well-off sister Linda talk on the phone, it’s clear that neither really understands the others deepest thoughts, and that’s one of the joys of this story, allowing us to view all the characters from the outside and the inside. And as you read, you get a little excited when you realize that a side character like Dottie Blaine that you found interesting is finally getting her spotlight. So do you have to have read My Name is Lucy Barton to read Anything Is Possible? Absolutely not. But if you haven’t, my guess is that you’ll feel compelled to read it soon afterwards.— Daniel Goldin
May 2017 Indie Next List
“Anything Is Possible merges the interlocking story form of Strout's Olive Kitteridge with the characters from My Name Is Lucy Barton. No one captures both the decency and cruelty of small towns the way Strout does-the kindness of a school janitor, the merciless taunts an impoverished child must endure. Mothers and daughters are a frequent theme, too, and the story of Mississippi Mary, about a woman visiting her mother in Italy, just might break your heart. Every story in this amazing collection is about the events that can make or break us - war, abuse, poverty, illness - and how we respond. I loved this marvelous book, and you should absolutely read it.”
— Jill Zimmerman, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI
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.