I’m always careful not to fall victim to popular opinion when reading any book, especially one by such an acclaimed and beloved writer as Alice Munro. I tried to forget the fact that Munro had only recently won the Nobel prize for fiction. This is only my second Munro so maybe I’m not the best judge of her work but I did find this collection very enjoyable.
I find that with Munro it’s the little details. Her stories are everyday stories of everyday people living mainly in small-town Canada, people we probably don’t expect to read about in books. Whether she is exploring the thoughts of a little child, an inexperienced university graduate, or an unsatisfied housewife, she does so expertly. I found myself engaged by the stories, stories that I found to be very believable, as well as very sad in most cases. I also enjoyed her stories set in post-war Canada, a very different Canada from the one I live in now.
Munro definitely writes with much clarity. People often comment on her well-crafted sentences and I won’t argue with that. What I love most of all is her insight into human relationships.
I enjoyed the last few stories that were supposedly autobiographical. Very nostalgic. It’s very fitting that this book is called “Dear Life.”
I felt quite sad when I turned the last page knowing this is supposedly the last book she will ever write.
— Alice Munro, Dear Life