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The Love of a Good Woman : Stories Paperback – October 26, 1999
Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
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As always, Munro's prose is both simple and moving, as when the letter-writing protagonist of "Before the Change" sends her love to an ex-fiancé:
What if people really did that--sent their love through the mail to get rid of it? What would it be that they sent? A box of chocolates with centers like the yolks of turkey's eggs. A mud doll with hollow eye sockets. A heap of roses slightly more fragrant than rotten. A package wrapped in bloody newspaper that nobody would want to open.The fictions in this volume burn with a kind of dry-eyed anti-romanticism--even the ones whose plots verge on domestic melodrama (a baby's near-death in "My Mother's Dream"; an adulterous wife in "The Children Stay"). Densely populated, elliptical in construction, each story circles around its principal events and relationships like planets around a sun. The result is layered and complex, its patterns not always apparent on first reading: in other words, something like life. --Mary Park --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
First of all, there is a unique impression of authenticity. There are certain conventions in fiction about what is regarded as important or interesting; Alice Munro ignores them. She knows that tiny incidents can be the defining ones. She knows that spending a weekend with one's own daughter can be an unbearable challange which almost drives you mad. These stories do not gloss over the mundane aspects of life we have to struggle with most.
Second, Alice Munro's stories believe in human dignity and choice. Hers is a moral universe. It's not just the title story which shows us a person making a choice. We tend to just let things happen to us and pretend we cannot do anything about them; these stories show that sometimes we can (but they do not deny that very often we cannot). There is also a great story, "Jakarta", which implies that such choices are not valid forever; it's not enough to decide against betraying your husband today. The decision may feel momentous, but if you decide otherwise tomorrow it doesn't matter all that much. The problem is, however, and the story shows that too, that when you take those decisions you are very often incapable of feeling their impact.
Read these stories! This is a book for grown-ups. It will help you understand the world.
In another fine story from this collection, "Before the Change", a young woman uses an abortion to test her father and her lover and they both come up short.
In "Jakarta", my personal favorite, Sonje is such a good woman that she takes on the care of her lover's blind mother while Cottar continues a traveling, leftist journalist. But Sonje is not a fool though she may be a saint as her old friend Kent discovers.
The collection contains such thought-provoking studies that it could influence the way you live your life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A beautiful, beautiful writer. In the first story, a great inventor of plot, a mystery, really and a moralist, to boot. Nearly every story a gemPublished 18 days ago by William Roth
In grand Alice Munro style, the reader is left with many interpretations as to characters, events, and conclusions. Read morePublished 5 months ago by SueC
Beautifully written short stories with a real insight into the human condition. Her characters are all flawed just like the people one meets every day in real life.Published 10 months ago by nigel barnard
Alice Munro is an exceptional writer. Her characters are nearly real, along with the places they exist in. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Katy
Beautifully written absorbing stories about people's lives. A very satisfying book.Published 15 months ago by Catherine