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review 2016-11-13 19:45
The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro
The Beggar Maid: Stories of Flo and Rose - Alice Munro

This is my first Alice Munro, and it clearly deserves its literary accolades. It’s a short story collection that follows the same characters more or less chronologically through their lives: a girl and later woman named Rose, and her stepmother, Flo. The characters are certainly believable, and I became more engaged with it in the latter 2/3 of the book, as Rose becomes an adult living her own life and making adult choices – many will disagree with me on this point, but to me there’s only so much that can be done with child protagonists.

So, this is a strong literary book. It’s very well-written, with enough packed into even short sentences to warrant (and reward) re-reading. The characters are engaging, and their decisions and the ways they are affected by their lives are entirely credible. I did not have a strong emotional connection to the book or find myself thinking about it when not reading it, so maybe it wasn’t the best choice for me; maybe one of Munro’s more recent collections would have inspired a stronger reaction. But I’d certainly recommend it to those who are interested.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-05-01 01:49
The View from Castle Rock - Alice Munro

THE VIEW FROM CASTLE ROCK - The short story, titled The View from Castle Rock, is also a collection. In this review, my focus is the short story, not the book. The Laidlaws emigrate from Scotland to Canada in 1818. For the first time in their lives, family members board the ship: Old James (father), Andrew (son), Agnes (son’s wife) their infant son (Young James) and siblings (Mary and James). They depart on a sea passage: Agnes gives birth to a girl, Walter documents the voyage in his journal, Young James becomes lost and after a frantic search, Mary finds him. The ship full of emigrants reaches Nova Scotia; amazed by groves of trees, clear shining sky, fresh air and a profusion of sea birds. The sailors fire shots at the birds, point out a whale ship side, passengers break out a fiddle and everyone dances with joy. Near the conclusion Walter has become a close companion to Nettie, a rich girl suffering from tuberculosis. Mr. Carbert, her father, offers Walter a position in Montreal. He refuses, since he means to work the land with his family. The short story and collected book of stories, under the same name, follows Munro’s family history. 







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quote 2015-07-12 19:48
Miłość wcale nie jest nieunikniona, to kwestia wyboru. Tyle że nigdy nie wiadomo, kiedy się go dokonuje, ani - mimo pozornej frywolności - kiedy stał się nieodwracalny. Nic przed tym wyraźnie nie ostrzega.
Coś, o czym chciałam ci powiedzieć - Alice Munro,Bohdan Maliborski

Alice Munro - "Coś, o czym chciałam ci powiedzieć"

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text 2015-07-11 05:13
Happy Birthday, Alice Munro!
Dear Life: Stories - Alice Munro
Runaway - Alice Munro

A little late on this, but a very happy birthday to one of my favorite short story writers, Alice Munro. :)



I highly recommend her collections, Dear Life and Runaway

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review 2015-03-27 17:20
Dear Life
Dear Life: Stories - Alice Munro

With her peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but spacious and timeless stories, Alice Munro illumines the moment a life is shaped -- the moment a dream, or sex, or perhaps a simple twist of fate turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into another way of being. Suffused with Munro's clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these stories (set in the world Munro has made her own: the countryside and towns around Lake Huron) about departures and beginnings, accidents, dangers, and homecomings both virtual and real, paint a vivid and lasting portrait of how strange, dangerous, and extraordinary the ordinary life can be.


I read this collection of short stories as I had never read Alice Munro before. I had high expectations as her name comes up frequently but honestly, I was not overly fond of this collection. I'm not sure what was the issue, aside from personally not enjoying stories having to do with infidelity (in which there were quite a few) or just not connecting to any of the characters or situations. For the most part, the stories were memorable as I can still remember a few of the stories almost two months, and several books later and maybe this was not a good place to begin with Alice Munro. Whatever it is though, I probably won't be reading more of her work anytime soon.



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