Richard Russo’s “Chances Are…” explores the regrets that fray men’s souls.
Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Richard Russo has three college friends meet in Chilmark on Martha’s Vineyard after Labor Day in September, 2015. Long overdue for a reunion, Lincoln, Teddy, and Mickey are now sixty-six-years-old. They worked as hashers in the kitchen of the Theta Sorority at Minerva College in the late 1960s. Their friendship supported them through the draft lottery of December 1, 1969, and the unrequited love each boy carried for a girl named Jacy. Jacy was with them the last time they were on the island. After that she disappeared. Chances Are …, Russo’s fourteenth book, is a novel that explores the regrets that fray men’s souls and asks the question, “How well does anyone know their closest friends?” What these men don’t know creates a story that makes a compelling read. It is a literary feat to have such humanity, humor, and suspense in one novel.
Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.