Here comes Pulitzer Prize winning author, Richard Russo, with yet another masterpiece! More than ten years have passed since Russo last graced us with a stand alone novel. CHANCES ARE is worth every minute of the wait, and then some.
Three sixty-six year old men meet for a long weekend reunion in September on Martha’s Vineyard. It’s been forty years since their last meeting, a time that has been frozen in each of their minds. Something happened that Memorial Day weekend that changed them.
Who are these three men? Lincoln is a commercial real estate agent who just might need to sell the Vineyard home his mother left him because he really needs the money. Teddy is the publisher at a small press who has mental issues. Mickey is an aging musician who’s been married a couple of unsuccessful times. They each have secrets. All three loved one young woman: Jacy Rockafellow. And where is she now? That’s the hundred thousand dollar question as no one has seen Jacy since that Memorial Day weekend forty years ago.
Forty years ago Lincoln, Mickey and Teddy were attending a liberal arts college on the East Coast. That’s where they met and fell in love with Jacy. Even though she was engaged to a guy named Vance at the time, they each thought they would be THE one to win her affection.
This novel is such a treat in so many ways. Men’s friendships are complicated. They don’t usually bare their souls to each other. They know how to keep secrets. Russo is the king of writing about men’s feelings. He’s gone above and beyond here.
This novel brought back so many memories. There is a scene while the guys are in college. It’s Viet Nam era. Early evening and the three are doing chores when they take a break to sit in front of the little black and white tv. A very important moment in history, one that changed my life and the lives of so many others. The draft numbers were about to be announced. The tension in the air was palpable. I imagine they could practically hear each other’s heart beats slamming in their chests. In this case, one of the three is given a number that is very low meaning his chances of going to war are a given. So, what were your choices? Serve your country. Flee to Canada? Life changing.
I found CHANCES ARE to be wonderfully engaging, troubling, mysterious, page-turning, and most of all filled with the gorgeous writing of an author I have come to love. I give this novel an A+.
My finished copy of CHANCES ARE by Richard Russo came from Knopf a division of Penguin Random House publishing, in exchange for an honest review. I did so love this novel. I can’t recommend it highly enough. Both men and women are going to eat it up!
You can get your copy of CHANCES ARE by Richard Russo tomorrow at Copperfish Books in Punta Gorda, Florida. We have a stack that won’t last long and they’re marked at 20% off. Come on up, or come on down, we want to see you and talk books!