Monday, January 20, 2020

Chances Are by Richard Russo


My thoughts: I read this book for an upcoming book club and when I checked it out of the library I wasn't sure I was looking forward to reading it.  I would read a bit before bed each night, but never felt like it was hard to put down and even mixed up the three main characters a bit.  The beginning was a lot more telling than showing and letting you get to know the characters in their own time, but then I got into it.  I know a lot of people wouldn't have pushed past the beginning, but I am glad I did.  Three men in their sixties meet on Martha's Vineyard for the weekend at the end of the summer in 2015, which is how they ended their time at college at the beginning of the summer in 1971, except that time the woman they were all in love with was there with them.  The college friend who was a part of their group of Musketeers, but also the one they all hoped to be with.

After that weekend she disappeared and no one knew what had become of her and her memory haunts the men more than it has in years because it feels like her ghost is there, maybe actually there if some theories are to be believed.

Going into this I did not realize  it was going to be a mystery that they were going to be unraveling.  Each of them had crystal clear memories of some things and had forgotten others, but together they worked to put the pieces together.  Each of the chapters is written from one of the men's pov, so you get to see how they think and what their inner life is like.

I had a lot of questions about how the women of their mother's generations had lived their lives and if it was by choice or due to the habits and attitudes of the time they were born and grew into. 

I went from easily putting this book down to reading the second half over the course of a day because I wanted to find out what really happened and put all the pieces together.  I've never read one of Russo's books before and I see in other reviews that some readers feel like this is different than his other books,  but I may give another one a try.

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