From the cover blurb: Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout explores the whole range of human emotions through the intimate dramas of people struggling to understand themselves and others.
One story offers a contrast between two sisters. In another, a janitor befriends an isolated man in town, and in a recurring theme – Lucy Barton(from a previous book) is a celebrated author -her life and writing affected quite a few lives in town. Several stories show her siblings’ resentments, her classmates shame. This book of connected short stories reverberates with the deep bonds of family, and the hope that comes with reconciliation.
p. 90 Almost always it’s a surprise, the passing of permission to enter a place once seen as eternally closed. And this is how it was for a stunned Linda, who stood that day in that convenience store with the sun falling over packages of corn chips and heard those words of compassion- undeserved….
p.123 setting – a small town in Italy. Angelina is visiting her mother who has moved there. “Mom,” Angelina said, “that woman is your age, and she’s smoking, and she has her pearls tossed over her neck, and she’s wearing high heels, and she’s pedaling her bike with a basket of stuff in the back.”
“Oh I know honey. It just amazed me when I came here. Then I figured it out – the women are just versions of people pulling up to Walmart in their cars. Only they’re on a bike.”
For some reason, that little blip really amused me. It’s observations like that in these stories that make Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout a quiet read – a glimpse into ordinary lives.