Dianne's Reviews > Anything Is Possible

Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
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it was amazing
bookshelves: best-of-2018, arcs-and-goodreads-first-reads

Just stellar, as always. Elizabeth Strout, how I love thee!

This amazing collection of 9 short stories revolves around the community of Amgash, Illinois, the hometown of Lucy Barton, the leading lady of Strout's previous novel ("My Name is Lucy Barton"). You don't necessarily need to read "Lucy Barton" first to tackle and enjoy this collection, but I highly recommend it. Lucy's backstory does illuminate several of these narratives.

Strout's characters are all loosely connected in some way across these nine stories and Lucy Barton makes a welcome appearance in one of them. Strout's writing is perfection as always, but where these stories really shine is in her incredibly perceptive eye for humanity; our flaws, cruelties, kindnesses, loneliness, redemptions and all of the messes we make living our lives. Life is often not what we expected or planned for in our youth, but we find ways to adapt, survive and carry on.

This reminded me a lot of Kent Haruf's books, so if you are a fan, you will probably enjoy these stories - although "enjoy" might not be the right word. Some of the stories are pretty dark, but there is always a glimmer of salvation - because, after all, "Anything is Possible."

I read this twice because I loved it so, but it also helped me make connections between the many characters that I missed the first time through. A real gem; I highly recommend this or any of Strout's works.

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing for an ARC of this lovely collection. My review is based on the hardcover version, however.
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Reading Progress

January 13, 2017 – Shelved
January 13, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 7, 2018 – Started Reading
January 8, 2018 –
page 181
71.26%
January 9, 2018 – Shelved as: best-of-2018
January 9, 2018 – Finished Reading
April 5, 2018 – Shelved as: arcs-and-goodreads-first-reads

Comments Showing 1-39 of 39 (39 new)

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message 1: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy Wow! Five stars and I don’t read short stories although I do have an A%C of this. I may need to get over myself


Dianne Tammy wrote: "Wow! Five stars and I don’t read short stories although I do have an A%C of this. I may need to get over myself"

Have you read any of Strout's books, Tammy? I love her.


message 3: by Jen (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jen Glad you loved it too, Dianne!


message 4: by Tammy (new) - added it

Tammy Dianne wrote: "Tammy wrote: "Wow! Five stars and I don’t read short stories although I do have an A%C of this. I may need to get over myself"

Have you read any of Strout's books, Tammy? I love her."


I have. I am fan, too!


message 5: by Paula (new)

Paula Kalin Lovely review, Dianne! My favorite by Strout is the Burgess Boys.


Sally Ross Strout has become one of my favorite authors, and I both read and then listened to this audiobook.


Angela M Dianne, what a fantastic review. I felt the same way about how this shed light on the unsaid things in My Name is Lucy Barton. Strout is one of my favorites - such a talented writer!


Jeannie Nice review, I love her books!


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Lovely review, Dianne! I love Elizabeth Strout, too (and Kent Haruf).


message 10: by Candi (new) - added it

Candi A wonderful review, Dianne. I am reading Lucy Barton next month, so hopefully this one won't be too far behind. I do love Strout's writing too :)


Dianne Kimber wrote: "Great review, Dianne! : )"

Thanks, Kimber!


Dianne Paula wrote: "Lovely review, Dianne! My favorite by Strout is the Burgess Boys."

Thanks, Paula. My favorite is "Olive Kitteridge."


Dianne Sally wrote: "Strout has become one of my favorite authors, and I both read and then listened to this audiobook."

Isn't she wonderful???


Dianne Angela M wrote: "Dianne, what a fantastic review. I felt the same way about how this shed light on the unsaid things in My Name is Lucy Barton. Strout is one of my favorites - such a talented writer!"

Thanks, Angela - yes, she is aaamaaazing!!


Dianne Jeannie wrote: "Nice review, I love her books!"

Thanks, Jeannie, me too!


Dianne Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader wrote: "Lovely review, Dianne! I love Elizabeth Strout, too (and Kent Haruf)."

Thanks, Jennifer!


Dianne Candi wrote: "A wonderful review, Dianne. I am reading Lucy Barton next month, so hopefully this one won't be too far behind. I do love Strout's writing too :)"

Thanks, Candi. "Lucy Barton" is so subtle - it's more about what ISN'T said. I'll look forward to your thoughts!


Lindsay - Traveling Sister Terrific review Dianne! So glad you enjoyed!! :-)


message 19: by Holly (new)

Holly  B Wonderful review Dianne!


Dianne Thank you, Lindsay and Holly!


Cheri Wonderful review, Dianne! Love Elizabeth Strout & Kent Haruf, and I loved reading your thoughts on this one of Strout's.


Dianne Cheri wrote: "Wonderful review, Dianne! Love Elizabeth Strout & Kent Haruf, and I loved reading your thoughts on this one of Strout's."

Thank you so much, Cheri!


Karen Wonderful Diane! I loved these stories too!


Dianne Karen❄️ wrote: "Wonderful Diane! I loved these stories too!"

Thanks, Karen!


Sally Ross This was of my favorite books in 2017. She’s such a perceptive storyteller.


Lynne Glad you enjoyed it. I’m in the middle of the book and not feeling it. Not sure why but it’s difficult for me to slog through. Very nice review.


Dianne Thanks, Lynne. Hope it picks up for you - we don't all have the same reaction to books; it may just be one that does not resonate with you.


Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister Wow, must be really special to warrant a reread--wonderful review, Dianne! <3


Dianne Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister wrote: "Wow, must be really special to warrant a reread--wonderful review, Dianne! <3"

Thanks, Kristin! I pretty much reread all my 5 stars! 😊


message 30: by Norma * Traveling Sister (last edited Aug 22, 2018 09:36PM) (new) - added it

Norma * Traveling Sister Wonderful review, Dianne!


Dianne Norma * Traveling Sister wrote: "Wonderful review, Dianne!"

Thanks, Norma!


message 32: by Cheryl (new) - added it

Cheryl James Dianne, thank you so much. I just purchased the book on kindle😊


Debbie Missed this review somehow. It’s a terrific review of a book on my all-time favorites list. Funny, I didn’t love Lucy, but this one knocked my socks off (and put me on my pogo stick).


Dianne Debbie wrote: "Missed this review somehow. It’s a terrific review of a book on my all-time favorites list. Funny, I didn’t love Lucy, but this one knocked my socks off (and put me on my pogo stick)."

Thanks, Debbie. (Apple really needs to get a pogo stick emoji!)


message 35: by Susu (new) - added it

Susu I purchased this last week for $2.99 via Kindle Daily Deals. I look forward to reading it- I hope I have to go purchase a pogo stick, too!


Dianne Susu wrote: "I purchased this last week for $2.99 via Kindle Daily Deals. I look forward to reading it- I hope I have to go purchase a pogo stick, too!"

That was a great deal! Hope you love it.


Brenda - Traveling Sister Excellent review, Dianne! I loved this one! Glad to see you did too!


Dianne Brenda - Traveling Sister wrote: "Excellent review, Dianne! I loved this one! Glad to see you did too!"

Thanks, Brenda! Glad to find a fellow fan!


message 39: by Jaidee (new)

Jaidee Loving the girl crush on Ms. Strout !

I have yet to read anything by her .


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