Anything Is Possible

Anything Is PossibleAnything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
on January 1st 1970
Pages: 272
ISBN: 0812989406
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There is something so wonderfully absorbing and enthralling about Stout’s books. I am absolutely certain that Stout could write a book about watching pain peel off a wall and I would read it. I love her writing. I read books and think that they are good and then I read Stout and think “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is that draws me to her writing. She has a gift. She is a brilliant Author who can take people and their lives and add a certain type of brilliance to their story.

This book was written in tandem to “My name is Lucy Barton” and showcases the people who grew up with Lucy and continue to live in their small town. Each had some type of connection to either Lucy Barton herself or her family. Their stories are told in the for of short stories. I am not a short story fan but I loved these beautifully written short stories. These short stories are about people and their relationships. The people struggle with love, greed, jealousy, abandonment, loneliness, ptsd, and guilt to name a few. Her characters are well developed, interesting, likable (some not likable), a and compelling. Some characters are full of compassion, understanding, humor, and are able to take things as they come. They do not let hardship get in their way of living a full life, while other characters are uncaring, sick, and have their own personal demons.

I am not going to give a synopsis of this book. Please seek out a copy and read this for yourself. If you have not read stout before, start with “Olive Kitteridge” and go from there. Stout does not disappoint. Her words are her gift. There is something so lovely and graceful about her writing. I love opening up, and falling into her books.

I received a copy of this book from Random House and NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewe is something so wonderfully absorbing and enthralling about Stout’s books. I am absolutely certain that Stout could write a book about watching pain peel off a wall and I would read it. I love her writing. I read books and think that they are good and then I read Stout and think “Yes! Yes! Yes!” I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what it is that draws me to her writing. She has a gift. She is a brilliant Author who can take people and their lives and add a certain type of brilliance to their story.

This book was written in tandem to “My name is Lucy Barton” and showcases the people who grew up with Lucy and continue to live in their small town. Each had some type of connection to either Lucy Barton herself or her family. Their stories are told in the for of short stories. I am not a short story fan but I loved these beautifully written short stories. These short stories are about people and their relationships. The people struggle with love, greed, jealousy, abandonment, loneliness, ptsd, and guilt to name a few. Her characters are well developed, interesting, likable (some not likable), a and compelling. Some characters are full of compassion, understanding, humor, and are able to take things as they come. They do not let hardship get in their way of living a full life, while other characters are uncaring, sick, and have their own personal demons.

I am not going to give a synopsis of this book. Please seek out a copy and read this for yourself. If you have not read stout before, start with “Olive Kitteridge” and go from there. Stout does not disappoint. Her words are her gift. There is something so lovely and graceful about her writing. I love opening up, and falling into her books.

I received a copy of this book from Random House and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The Burgess Boys

The Burgess BoysThe Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Published by Random House on March 26th 2013
Pages: 320
ISBN: 1400067685
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three-stars

Received from Goodreads first reads giveaway

I had high hopes for this Novel. I loved Olive Kitteridge. For me this novel was not as good. To be fair, I would give this book 3 1/2 stars if I could. I didn’t really care about the characters. I cared the most for Bob and Zach. I do like books where the characters are flawed and not very likeable but in those books, I was still invested in what happened to them. In this book, I did not care for the characters or for what happened to them especially – Jim Burgess. Susan and Jim are just plain mean to their Brother Bob and for me it was a turn off. Usually I read books very fast- this one took me some time.

The Burgess Boys is about a dysfunctional family and how one truamatic event in the Burgess’ childhood shaped their adult lives. Secrets, lies, quilt, and deceipt are some themes of the book. We see how the tragic death of the siblings father has shaped the lives of Bob, his twin sister Susan, their older brother (Jim) and their spouses and children. The family (Jim, Bob, and Susan) must come together after Zach (Susan’s son) throws a head of a pig into a mosque at worship time and the resulting legal issues that follow. Through the course of the storyline we learn family secrets, see self destruction, and to a small degree redemption.

I did like the end a little better than the middle. I liked how “truth” or “family secrets” came out. This was a good book – not great. For me there was something lacking in the story – I can’t quite put my finger on it. It’s a good book but not one that moved me.

three-stars

My Name is Lucy Barton

My Name is Lucy BartonMy Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout
on January 1st 1970
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four-stars

Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Lucy Barton is in the hospital following a simple operation. For some reason, she remains hospitalized for weeks on end. Her husband, William seldom visits as he does not like hospitals. He calls Lucy’s Mother whom she has not seen in years to come visit Lucy in the Hospital. Over the course of her Mother’s five day visit to Lucy in the hospital, Lucy and her Mother gossip/reminiscence about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois. They seem to discuss everything except Lucy’s childhood and upbringing. Lucy grew up extremely poor and was made fun of constantly at school. She tells of being locked for hours in her father’s truck.She shared how she stayed as long as she could at school as her home was so cold. While visiting in the hospital, the women seem to discuss others so they do not need to discuss their dysfunctional family.

The visit seems a catalyst for Lucy as she has time to think about her childhood, her dreams of becoming a writer and her troubled marriage.

Elizabeth Stout is such a gifted writer and I loved every word in this Novel. This is a great book for book clubs. I would love to sit down with someone and discuss this book.The premise of this bo ok is quite simple, a Mother visiting her daughter in the hospital after a prolonged recovery following surgery. However, this is not a simple story. In the very gifted hands of Elizabeth Strout it is a moving and thought provoking novel. I highly recommend this book.

four-stars