Amy P. Knight

Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

I didn’t realize this was going to be linked stories. There’s some irony to the fact that I didn’t really enjoy that. The pieces are linked tangentially through minor characters, geographically through their setting in Amgash, Illinois, and thematically (there’s a lot of sexual betrayal and indiscretion among the various kinds of pain explored in this book). But ultimately I want a novel to have a center of gravity and I couldn’t find one here. I felt like we were wandering rather than progressing. Which is a perfectly fine kind of book to write, but it’s not the kind I especially like to read.