Novel of the week
Richard Russo’s latest novel “hits the ball out of the park,” said Mameve Medwed in The Boston Globe. Showing as always “his wry eye for irony and regret,” the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls brings together three men in their mid-60s for a friendly Martha’s Vineyard reunion that comes 44 years after they last convened on the island. On that previous holiday weekend, a fourth friend—a young woman they had all loved—had disappeared, and the presence of that lingering mystery turns Chances Are… into “a gripping, wise, and wonderful summer treat.” The mystery plot is actually pretty silly, said Ron Charles in The Washington Post. Worse, the novel’s dependence on that storyline “doubles down on the hackneyed cliché of the tragic, unattainable beauty.” But Russo remains an “undeniably endearing” writer: “No one captures so well the gruff affection of men.” And in this uneven novel, he gives three friends the opportunity to marvel over life’s unpredictable turns and, better yet, a chance to see the whole journey anew.