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“[Russo’s] first novel in ten years hits the ball out of the park. . . . You’ll lap up this gripping, wise, and wonderful summer treat.” —The Boston Globe
“A cascade of charm. . . . Russo is an undeniably endearing writer, and chances are this story will draw you back to the most consequential moments in your own life.”—The Washington Post
One beautiful September day, three men in their late sixties convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college in the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today—Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey is a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971. Now, forty-five years later, three lives and that of a significant other are put on displaywhile the distant past confounds the present ina relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo's trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are . . . introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader's heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Russo has a gift for revealing men’s innermost desires and conflicts. In Chances Are..., he throws in a touch of mystery, upping the emotional stakes. Three retirement-age friends, Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey, reunite on Martha’s Vineyard, where during the summer of 1971, they all fell in love with their college classmate Jacy, who disappeared from their lives shortly thereafter. Contemplating her absence, the pals finally confront the secrets and unanswered questions that continue to haunt them. Russo augments his signature world-weary humor with a thrilling pace that kept us bracing for surprises around every corner.
Russo's first standalone novel in a decade (after Everybody's Fool) mixes his signature themes father-and-son relationships, unrequited love, New England small-town living, and the hiccups of aging with stealthy clue-dropping in a slow-to-build mystery about a young woman's 1971 disappearance. Set mostly in Martha's Vineyard circa 2015 with flashbacks to the characters' coming-of-age in the 1960s and '70s, the story follows three college buddies who, now in their mid-60s, decide to reunite on the island. There's Lincoln, a happily married and successful real estate broker with six kids; Teddy, an editor and publisher of a small university press who's prone to panic attacks and disorienting spells that leave him depressed; and Mickey, a musician renowned for his ability to rock hard, play hard, and sometimes beat up anyone in his way. Then there's the missing link gorgeous Jacy, the "three musketeers' " closest gal pal from college and secret crush who was engaged to "privileged, pre-school, Greenwich, Connecticut" Vance, and had joined her boys at Lincoln's Vineyard cabin for one last hurrah before she vanished. Relayed in alternating chapters from mostly Lincoln and Teddy's perspectives, the narrative touches on the Vietnam draft, Lincoln's complicated relationship with his dogmatic father and meek mother, and an accident that befalls Teddy. In the final stretch, surprising, long-kept secrets are revealed. This is vintage Russo. This review has been updated to remove a spoiler.