Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout [in Library Journal]
Kimberly Farr, who gracefully, achingly gave voice to the eponymous protagonist in Elizabeth Strout’s My Name Is Lucy Barton, returns here as Lucy but adds to her repertoire Lucy’s family, neighbors, and long-ago acquaintances who call Amgash, IL, home. When Lucy’s mother unexpectedly arrived in Lucy’s Manhattan hospital room in Strout’s earlier book, the small-town stories she brought distracted mother and daughter from sharing more intimate moments neither could face. Here, Strout’s nine interlinked tales lay bare the desires, defeats, hopes, and dreams of a tiny community deserted by its most famous citizen – writer Lucy Barton.
Lucy makes a brief afternoon book tour stopover after almost two decades away for a fraught, difficult visit with her left-behind siblings. Beyond devastating family revelations are fiery realizations from the school janitor who watched over Lucy so long ago, the teacher who recognizes the outstanding potential in Lucy’s troubled niece, the local veteran who hasn’t fully come home from war, a peeping Tom whose wife is seemingly complicit, and a B&B owner who listens to strangers’ secrets.
Verdict: Strout’s immense readership will surely appreciate Farr’s careful, empathic rendition of her latest classic-in-the-making.