Munro is an incredible writer, has won many awards, and her words did move me. My complaint is that not only were there no happy endings, there were also no moments of grace or lasting wonder. I get it that bad stuff has to happen to make writing interesting, but I often had to force myself to pick the book up again. I know that men and children leave in women's lives, that missed chances and misunderstandings take place, and that no one can live a completely charmed life. However, I also think that men and children can bring joy and happiness into women's lives, that some marriages do last, that some who leave on uncertain terms do return again, and that sometimes fate works to unite instead of divide. Maybe those stories aren't considered literary, but I wanted at least one that held up some kind of beauty and goodness instead of isolation and abandonment.
I tried to read every story in this but none of them caught my attention. I had read reviews of this book ahead of time that got my hopes up that this would be a great book so I was greatly disappointed. I'm not big on reading short stories to begin with, but I was hoping for more with this one.
This book won the Giller Prize and so it should. Alice Munro writes only short stories and she's a master of her craft. So few words communicate so much about personality and situation. These people stay with you and at times I think I've known them, only to remember they are characters in a book. Well worth your time and your thought.