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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, April 2017 - I've never read anything by Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout, not Olive Kitteridge, not My Name Is Lucy Barton, nothing. This is a mistake I plan to soon rectify after listening to Anything Is Possible. Strout delivers a distinct and down-to-earth vision of American life with a patchwork of exactingly crafted characters. Each is so normal and somewhat unassuming but also tortured and robust. She seems to know exactly how to pinpoint the pain that drives people, and each of the stories that make up this novel comes to a carefully balanced yet captivating crescendo. But what I love most about this book is Strout's measured sense of voice. Not only does it complement her understated characters, and not only is it the ideal vehicle for narrator Kimberly Farr, but it is perfectly suited to the quick turns of emotion and introspection that make these stories so brilliantly moving and memorable. —Michael, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

An unforgettable cast of small-town characters copes with love and loss in this new work of fiction by number one best-selling 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 best seller) returns to visit her siblings after 17 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.

©2017 Elizabeth Strout (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"In an impressive encore performance of Strout's prose, Kimberly Farr successfully mines the essence of each flawed character, giving hope and pain equal billing without succumbing to theatrics.... Farr's presence melts into the background, allowing the stories themselves to take center stage. This is an audiobook to get lost in." ( AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Powerful & Disturbing

This new book from Strout continues delving into the life of Lucy Barton, a character from "My Name is Lucy Barton", and a host of characters loosely connected to her. The Lucy Barton book read more like a novel, with a linear story line. The format of this book resembles the interconnecting short story mode the author used in her book "Olive Kitteridge". Accordingly, each chapter is a different short story, a different piece of a broader picture. In the end, as the puzzle fits together, it becomes a novel.

Strout's writing keeps getting better with each book. Be aware that this listen keeps you on your toes remembering just how each character is connected to all the others. What's more, the author uses gossip in one story to offer closure to a previous character's predicament in earlier stories. This was artfully and beautifully done.

To me, the book was a powerful meditation on not just imperfect love, to quote the author, but something much darker and far more disturbing. These stories look at abuse and the using of or neglect of others in many different forms and in varying degrees. This book is certainly not for everyone and not what I was expecting. Harrowing, heartbreaking, thought provoking and unnerving.

These were excellent character studies and the writing was fantastic. A perfect example of Strout's ability to transport the reader deep into the lives of others. However, be prepared for a really tough listen.

56 of 61 people found this review helpful

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Best Read of Winter/Spring 2017


This is the story about a town you won't remember and it's people who you can't forget. Strout's writing style seems as simple as her character's lives that she colors in chapter- by- chapter.

The reader becomes fully invested in these small town people who connect in beautifully written "slices of life."

Outstanding ending. A great piece of literature.

My favorite read so far in 2017.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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hard to keep track of all the characters!

I loved the writing - she is a skilled wordsmith! But there so many characters I sometimes felt quite lost!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Linked short stories

If you could sum up Anything Is Possible in three words, what would they be?

Human, love, relationships

What did you like best about this story?

Each chapter could be listened to as a separate short story. Each one was tucked in at the end giving multiple sources of satisfaction.

What does Kimberly Farr bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her voices capture different stages of life very well.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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The Scars and Sweetness of Life

A thoughtful story about the stories and scars we carry with us through life. How we cope with,over-compensate for or fold in on ourselves from the emotional weight of our past. I loved the compassion the writer has for these flawed and striving characters. This is a book the I will go back to.

13 of 16 people found this review helpful

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More of Lucy Barton's People

Loved learning more about the rest of the family and orhers in the town.
More redemptive moments for these people are a pleasure amidst the sorrows of private lives.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A Perfect Match of Narrator to Book.

What I loved most was that the narrator took her time and never rushed the stories so beautifully written. Immediately upon finishing, I sent this book to my sister and thanked her for never making me feel lonely.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Another Our Town - kind of

Any additional comments?

Meandering and ponderous. Very slow. It was ok. Some might really enjoy it. For me it was like listening to a soap opera.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Exquisite

One of the most achingly beautiful and hopeful books I have ever heard. The narration was perfect.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Novel and Narrator Bring It Home

Any additional comments?

Elizabeth Strout's latest novel unfolds like an x-ray into the minds and hearts of damaged people who could be any of us in any town. Her prose is plain yet elegant, and I particularly enjoyed the frequent surprises she achieves when a sentence follows another in an unexpected progression. The nine stories are not connected by a single character, as they are in Olive Kitteridge, but characters do show up or are mentioned throughout. Great reverence, understanding, and respect are shown for the characters as they live the lives they are given. Strout also is exceptional in delivering pretty clear messages, almost like little homilies into the human condition, as the stories end, which I really liked, like a lamp lit and viewed through an open window. I don't think I am good at writing reviews, but I wanted to say how much I appreciated the skill and delicacy Strout uses to tell these stories. The narrator was simply fabulous. She seemed to understand every syllable that Strout wrote.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful