Chances Are . . .

by Richard Russo.

Pre-ordered as soon as I heard Russo had a new novel coming out. Couldn’t wait. Got it. Read it. If I didn’t see his name on the cover, this could have been written by any generic author this season. Disappointing. It did not have the rich descriptions of Russo’s classics like Empire Falls or even recently That Old Cape Magic. If he ever went to Martha’s Vineyard, it was clearly as a visitor. There was no depth of scene as in Upstate New York or even The Cape. And. The characters could have been colorful as Rub, but it seemed that there was a rush to finish a most implausible plot rather than take the time to develop these longtime college friends now reunited in their mid-sixties. A cursory history of Vietnam and its ramifications on a generation did not resonate. People who were passionately connected then just forget a girl who went missing decades ago while with them and then all of a sudden care again. Nothing rang true.

Maybe Russo wants to buy a new beach house. Soon.

Anachronistically speaking. Theta girls could not have considered Ivy League schools in those years since they had mostly not gone co-ed. They would have aspired to Seven Sisters colleges.

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