In Chances Are . . . the latest novel by Richard Russo, three friends are getting together on Cape Cod 44 years after they celebrated having graduated from college at the same location. Worthy of a full-length novel? Not until you discover that the co-ed who joined them on the prior occasion was never seen again after leaving the sea-side cottage the morning they all departed for unknown futures.
A mystery? Yes, but in the hands of Richard Russo what we
have is so much more than a whodounit. Russo’s skill at bringing the depth of
his characters’ beings to the surface and hooking us on them is what makes him
unique among modern novelists. He is able to keep us as much interested in
these average guys as does our anxiety to learn what happened to young Jacy.