Moments of change, chance encounters, twists of fate that create a new way of thinking or being: The stories in Dear Life, by Nobel Prize-winning author Alice Munro, build to form a radiant, indelible portrait of just how dangerous and strange ordinary life can be. The collection includes four powerful pieces, "autobiographical in Feeling", set during the time of Munro's own childhood, in the area where she grew up.
©2012 Alice Munro (P)2013 W F Howes Ltd
I got this because I felt I had an Alice Munro shaped gap in my listening/reading, plus I love short stories. I especially like short stories where not an awful lot happens - and these fit that bill well, too. In fact, her story telling is so cleverly subtle, there are actual plots (usually - others meander rather less purposefully, but that's fine too), you just don't always see the plot until quite some way in.
Some of the stories were a little too inconclusive even for my relaxed approach to a tale - but I enjoyed them all very much anyway.
Highly evocative of time and place.
The narrators were very good, with voices that changed well for different stories - especially the male reader; and with gentle styles that suited the writing.
I don't like writing negative reviews, because taste in books is very personal and subjective, but I found these short stories lacking in depth, emotion and substance, the characters were cold and lifeless and there was an undercurrent of unease throughout. For me, reading is a form of escapism. I want to be transported to happier places, with a gripping storyline and believable characters. Sadly, this book hadn't a single one of these ingredients.
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