Monday, May 22, 2017

Lucy Barton And Friends Are Back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Elizabeth Strout is a wonderful writer, but her results are mixed, with me.  Her big novel, "The Burgess Boys," was a tremendous disappointment, lacking the tight, structural brilliance of her shorter works.  Anyone who liked "Olive Kitterdige" will love "Anything Is Possible."  Here, Strout returns with a series of vignettes about people's lives in Amgash, Illinois, and it is engrossing in a literary way, and deeply moving in a spiritual manner.

                                         Is it a collection of short stories?  Or a collection of short stories, strung together as a novel?  Who cares; because these kind of vignettes are what Strout excels at, and while the book is short, it is richly textured.

                                         Along with Lucy and her siblings, the reader learns of the painful life of Charles MacCauley, as well as Tommy Gutprill, a janitor who manages to touch the lives of everyone in the community.  I can't even tell you which vignette is my favorite, they are all so precious, (a word here not used lightly, or pretentiously) but by the time one reaches the end, a satisfying read has been had, and a hunger for more from Strout takes hold.

                                          Lives within lives...stories within stories...Elizabeth Strout could take this world, and make it go on for as long as she chooses!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           And I, for one, hopes she decides to do so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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