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Anything Is Possible
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Anything Is Possible > Treatment of relationships (slight spoiler)

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message 1: by Mark (last edited Apr 11, 2019 02:32PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
Strout deals with many different types of family relationships in the book—between parents and children, between spouses, among siblings. How are these different types of relationships treated? What are the differences and similarities in the ways the characters navigate these relationships? Which ones resonated most with you, and why? Question provided by the author. https://www.elizabethstrout.com/books...


message 2: by Mark (last edited Apr 22, 2019 04:54PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
I want to get off my chest that I was troubled by the end of the story entitled "Cracked." It seems implied that Karen-Lucie forgiving Linda because she assumed Linda had to know her husband was a rapist somehow makes something okay. Worst yet is the conclusion that somehow it was a good thing for Linda because her “discretion” made it possible for her to lord it over her husband and therefore live a peaceful life. Or did I miss something?

Many of the relationships seem damaged, at least initially, but on the mend. I am thinking of the relationship between Angelina and her mother, Mary in "Mississippi Mary," and the relationship between Pete and his sister, Vicky in "Sister."

Many of the relationships are dealt with indirectly or not at all. Charlie Macauley steals from his wife in "The Hit-Thumb Theory" so his wife leaves him rather than divorcing her himself. Lucy Barton in "Sister" leaves town and her family behind because she can’t deal with all the issues caused by her awful childhood. Her brother, Pete, and her sister, Vicky stick it out though. Tommy Guptill deals directly with Pete in "The Sign" and eventually Pete deals directly with him.

It seems by the end of each of the stories, two of the protagonists come to a better understanding of their relationship with each other and, perhaps, a better understanding of themselves.

The distressed actor in "The Gift" was touching, but I was most impressed by the hot-shot business executive, Abel Blaine, being most concern with getting his granddaughter’s toy pony back for her. I may be more a candidate for Hallmark movie melodramas than I would like to admit.


Susan (sjbraun) | 5 comments Enjoyed your snippets on the various stories here. Cracked was my least favorite -- for the reasons you mentioned, as well as the sheer weirdness/creepiness of them watching houseguests on video.

I felt bad for Abel in the final story. I assume maybe he died at the end, although of course "Anything is Possible." Was the friend he finally had supposed to be the actor? Ugh. Yes, it was very sweet that he was so concerned about the pony. I wonder if part of the pony "rescue" was a good distraction for him too, though.


message 4: by Mark (last edited Apr 23, 2019 07:39AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mark Ueber | 255 comments Mod
I'd like to think Abel survived and became friends with the actor because "Anything is Possible."

Not to get too analytical, but I think you might be on to something. Abel's going back for the toy pony may be an example of living for others, seeing beyond one's self.


Susan (sjbraun) | 5 comments Good points, both!


message 6: by Betsy (new)

Betsy Ueber | 3 comments Lovely, Mark-- you're the best. Love you xoxo


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