Anything Is Possible: A Novel

By Elizabeth Strout
Read by Kimberly Farr

04/25/2017 unabridged
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An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout. Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others. Here are 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. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence. Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout’s place as one of America’s most respected and cherished authors. Praise for Anything Is Possible “When Elizabeth Strout is on her game, is there anybody better? . . . This is a generous, wry book about everyday lives, and Strout crawls so far inside her characters you feel you inhabit them. . . . This is a book that earns its title. Try reading it without tears, or wonder.”—USA Today (four stars) “Readers who loved My Name is Lucy Barton . . . are in for a real treat. . . . Strout is a master of the story cycle form. . . .  She paints cumulative portraits of the heartache and soul of small-town America by giving each of her characters a turn under her sympathetic spotlight.”—NPR “These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response. . . . Strout hits the target yet again.”—The Washington Post “In this wise and accomplished book, pain and healing exist in perpetual dependence, like feuding siblings.”—The Wall Street JournalAnything Is Possible confirms Strout as one of our most grace-filled, and graceful, writers.”—The Boston Globe “In Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible, her stunning follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, a famous author returns to the Midwestern hometown of her childhood, touching off a daisy-chain of stories narrated by those who knew her—memories of trauma and goodwill, resentments small and large, and the ever-widening gulf between haves and have-nots. Strout, always good, just keeps getting better.”—Vogue “If you miss the charmingly eccentric and completely relatable characters from Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s best-selling My Name Is Lucy Barton, you’ll be happily reunited with them in Strout’s smart and soulful Anything Is Possible.”—Elle “Strout pierces the inner worlds of these characters’ most private behaviors, illuminating the emotional conflicts and pure joy of being human, of finding oneself in the search for the American dream.”—NYLON

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Summary

Summary

An April 2017 LibraryReads Pick

A BookPage Top Pick for May 2017

An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by #1 bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout.

Recalling Olive Kitteridge in its richness, structure, and complexity, Anything Is Possible explores the whole range of human emotion through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.

Here are 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. The janitor at the local school has his faith tested in an encounter with an isolated man he has come to help; a grown daughter longs for mother love even as she comes to accept her mother’s happiness in a foreign country; and the adult Lucy Barton (the heroine of My Name Is Lucy Barton, the author’s celebrated New York Times bestseller) returns to visit her siblings after seventeen years of absence.

Reverberating with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation, Anything Is Possible again underscores Elizabeth Strout’s place as one of America’s most respected and cherished authors.

Praise for Anything Is Possible

“When Elizabeth Strout is on her game, is there anybody better? . . . This is a generous, wry book about everyday lives, and Strout crawls so far inside her characters you feel you inhabit them. . . . This is a book that earns its title. Try reading it without tears, or wonder.”—USA Today (four stars)

“Readers who loved My Name is Lucy Barton . . . are in for a real treat. . . . Strout is a master of the story cycle form. . . .  She paints cumulative portraits of the heartache and soul of small-town America by giving each of her characters a turn under her sympathetic spotlight.”—NPR

“These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response. . . . Strout hits the target yet again.”—The Washington Post

“In this wise and accomplished book, pain and healing exist in perpetual dependence, like feuding siblings.”—The Wall Street Journal

Anything Is Possible confirms Strout as one of our most grace-filled, and graceful, writers.”—The Boston Globe

“In Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible, her stunning follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, a famous author returns to the Midwestern hometown of her childhood, touching off a daisy-chain of stories narrated by those who knew her—memories of trauma and goodwill, resentments small and large, and the ever-widening gulf between haves and have-nots. Strout, always good, just keeps getting better.”—Vogue

“If you miss the charmingly eccentric and completely relatable characters from Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s best-selling My Name Is Lucy Barton, you’ll be happily reunited with them in Strout’s smart and soulful Anything Is Possible.”—Elle

“Strout pierces the inner worlds of these characters’ most private behaviors, illuminating the emotional conflicts and pure joy of being human, of finding oneself in the search for the American dream.”—NYLON

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Smart and soulful.” Elle
“Keenly draws a portrait of a small town where options are few, where everyone’s business is everyone’s business, and where verdicts rendered while young follow you your whole life.” Minneapolis Star Tribune
“You feel you are there with her…She is also simply superb at writing about relationships.” Times (London)
“A generous, wry book about everyday lives, and Strout crawls so far inside her characters you feel you inhabit them.” USA Today (4 stars)
“The thickly interwoven strands of these stories lend the collection the emotional weight of a novel…Strout is masterfully adept at creating believable characters.” BookPage
“Anything Is Possible is both sweeping in scope and incredibly introspective. That delicate balance is what makes its content so sharp and compulsively readable.” San Francisco Chronicle
When Elizabeth Strout is on her game, is there anybody better? . . . This is a generous, wry book about everyday lives, and Strout crawls so far inside her characters you feel you inhabit them. . . . This is a book that earns its title. Try reading it without tears, or wonder. USA Today (four stars)
Readers who loved My Name is Lucy Barton . . . are in for a real treat. . . . Strout is a master of the story cycle form. . . .  She paints cumulative portraits of the heartache and soul of small-town America by giving each of her characters a turn under her sympathetic spotlight. NPR
These stories return Strout to the core of what she does more magnanimously than anyone else, which is to render quiet portraits of the indignities and disappointments of normal life, and the moments of grace and kindness we are gifted in response. . . . Strout hits the target yet again. The Washington Post
In this wise and accomplished book, pain and healing exist in perpetual dependence, like feuding siblings. The Wall Street Journal
Anything Is Possible confirms Strout as one of our most grace-filled, and graceful, writers. The Boston Globe
Strout really can write you into a world until you feel you are there with her. . . . This is her genius. . . . She is also simply superb at writing about relationships. The Times (UK)
Anything Is Possible keenly draws a portrait of a small town where options are few, where everyone’s business is everyone’s business, and where verdicts rendered while young follow you your whole life. . . . It joins a vast genre, and elevates it. Minneapolis Star Tribune
Neither novel nor linked story collection strikes me as adequate terms to describe this book’s ingenious structure. . . . Strout’s sentence style fits these Midwestern folks and tales: straightforward while also seeming effortlessly lyrical, seeded both with humor and bitterness like many of our days. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In Elizabeth Strout’s Anything Is Possible, her stunning follow-up to My Name Is Lucy Barton, a famous author returns to the Midwestern hometown of her childhood, touching off a daisy-chain of stories narrated by those who knew her—memories of trauma and goodwill, resentments small and large, and the ever-widening gulf between haves and have-nots. Strout, always good, just keeps getting better. Vogue
Full of searing insight into the darkest corners of the human spirit . . . Anything Is Possible is both sweeping in scope and incredibly introspective. That delicate balance is what makes its content so sharp and compulsively readable. . . . Strout’s winning formula . . . has succeeded once again. With assuredness, compassion and utmost grace, her words and characters remind us that in life anything is actually possible. San Francisco Chronicle  
Anything Is Possible is a stunner. It is unblinking in its psychological portrayals of a cast of characters raised in socially impaired households in a small, Northern Illinois community. . . . A score of major and minor characters are drawn in such rich, crisp detail that they sear the heart. . . . Strout’s gifts as a storyteller are evocative of Edward Hopper’s captured moments of American life. Like Hopper, in Anything Is Possible, Strout leaves impressions you’ll not soon forget. Portland Press Herald
While we recommend everything by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer—like, say her recent book My Name Is Lucy Barton—this novel, which explores life’s complexities through interconnected stores, stands on its own. . . . It’s a joy to read a modern master doing her thing. Marie Claire
If you miss the charmingly eccentric and completely relatable characters from Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s best-selling My Name Is Lucy Barton, you’ll be happily reunited with them in Strout’s smart and soulful Anything Is Possible. Elle
Strout pierces the inner worlds of these characters’ most private behaviors, illuminating the emotional conflicts and pure joy of being human, of finding oneself in the search for the American dream. NYLON
We devoured Strout’s last novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton, and her latest—which is loosely linked to Lucy Barton—is no different. Told from multiple points of view, it’s about residents of a small town in Illinois struggling with the most relatable and quotidian problems . . . you’ll swear you know these characters. (In fact, it reminds us a bit of another of Strout’s masterpieces, the excellent Olive Kitteridge.) PureWow
Amgash, Illinois, will be familiar to Elizabeth Strout fans as the hometown of the protagonist of her 2016 novel, My Name Is Lucy Barton. In Anything Is Possible . . . Lucy’s legend looms large . . . but no prior reading is required to enjoy Strout’s powerful writing and empathy. Real Simple
In her latest work, Strout achieves new levels of masterful storytelling. Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The epic scope within seemingly modest confines recalls Strout’s Pulitzer Prize winner, Olive Kitteridge, and her ability to discern vulnerabilities buried beneath bad behavior is as acute as ever. Another powerful examination of painfully human ambiguities and ambivalences—this gifted writer just keeps getting better. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
With her latest work, Pulitzer Prize winner Strout (for Olive Kitteridge) crafts a deep and complex inside view of the hearts and minds of individuals who make up a community. Library Journal (starred review)
It’s hard to believe that a year after the astonishing My Name Is Lucy Barton Elizabeth Strout could bring us another book that is by every measure its equal, but what Strout proves to us again and again is that where she’s concerned, anything is possible. This book, this writer, are magnificent. Ann PatchettPraise for Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton
There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to . . . simple joy. The New York Times Book Review
Spectacular . . . My Name Is Lucy Barton is smart and cagey in every way. It is both a book of withholdings and a book of great openness and wisdom. . . . [Strout] is in supreme and magnificent command of this novel at all times. The Washington Post
My Name Is Lucy Barton is a short novel about love, particularly the complicated love between mothers and daughters, but also simpler, more sudden bonds. . . . It evokes these connections in a style so spare, so pure and so profound the book almost seems to be a kind of scripture or sutra, if a very down-to-earth and unpretentious one. Newsday
A quiet, sublimely merciful contemporary novel about love, yearning, and resilience in a family damaged beyond words. The Boston Globe
Sensitive, deceptively simple . . . It is Lucy’s gentle honesty, complex relationship with her husband, and nuanced response to her mother’s shortcomings that make this novel so subtly powerful. . . . My Name Is Lucy Barton—like all of Strout’s fiction—is more complex than it first appears, and all the more emotionally persuasive for it. San Francisco Chronicle

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Author

Author Bio: Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout is the author of the New York Times bestseller Olive Kitteridge, for which she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize; the national bestseller Abide with Me; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, CD
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Edition: English