My Top Ten book has gotten up and walked away. I don’t know who listed Alice Munro, but I swear to you she is in there!
Munro has a few different collections of stories out there. They seem to be all very long short stories, or even novellas. The three different books I looked at had 8 each. Most of the ones I read were from The Love of a Good Woman.
I buy a lot of my books used. Sometimes you find things in them that make you wonder about the prior owner. This one had an inscription, “Wendy, Title says it all. Love, RB, Christmas ’99”. I wonder where Wendy and RB went. Did they break up? Are they married still and Wendy just isn’t that sentimental while decluttering? Did she secretly hate the book and got rid of it? Did she secretly hate RB and get rid of the book? I know this has nothing to do with the actual book, but I find the random bits in used or library books fascinating. You know they have a story attached to them as well, and it’s fun to imagine what that story might be.
In this collection, which I assume is probably indicative of others of hers, Munro is stunning with her use of time jumps and character switches. She uses events that don’t seem very well connected upon first glance but worm their way under your skin anyway, leaving you with the feeling that the story wouldn’t be complete without them.
Her endings are a little disappointing to me. I’m not sure why. I think because there’s no clear cut resolution. But, I don’t think that is it either as I read plenty of stories like that and do not usually have an issue. They all do seem very melancholy even if there is a bit of hope in them. Maybe that’s what I don’t like. Not that I need a happy ending but maybe it’s a bit of both. That they’re vague endings, just cutting off in a life, and also melancholy.
Alice Munro is from Canada. Her stories are all set pretty much in Canada, though the United States are referenced. It’s interesting, because I’m unsure if the basic personality differences I see are more related to culture or time period. A lot of her stories take place in the past, or have bits of the past stuck through them.
I have bought a second collection of Munro’s stories. I’ll be reading those as well. I’m unsure why I’ve always passed her over while looking at books. I’m sad that I did. But, this is one of the reasons I do like using the Top Ten to find books from. I’ve discovered so many great works of literature and great authors.
Excuse the brevity of this blog, I haven’t been feeling well all day. This is on top of having two sleepovers for Amelia here on consecutive nights. So, now I might go crawl into bed to lay for awhile. Everyone around me seems to be sick in some way too. My mother has a double ear infection and strep throat. That’s usually something more reserved for children, so that’s odd. Other friends have some weird influenza resembling virus. Hopefully, I have neither and am mainly having exhaustion issues.
Have a happy Easter!