“Why couldn’t she be more like his other teachers, who looked at him blankly the following fall when he said hello to them outside Woolworths, having in a matter of months forgotten his existence entirely?”

russoNo contemporary writer is better at convincing the reader that a person with many faults can be a hero than Richard Russo.  His mixture of empathy, honesty, warmth and wit made Sully a heroic figure in Nobody’s Fool and makes Doug Raymer the equally-unlikely hero in the sequel Everyone’s Fool. I love the way that Russo “out-Russos” himself by tying these two polar-opposite characters together by showing how both have been guided by a person not many would see as hero-material: their eighth-grade English teacher, Beryl Peoples, who the community honors posthumously with an “Unsung Hero” award in this novel.

Richard Russo, Everybody’s Fool (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2016), 21,

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