Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: Lives of Girls and Women

Alice Munro is a wonderful writer, and, I imagine, a great short storyteller, but a novelist she does not seem to be.  Munro is known for her short stories, but being in the mood for a novel, I chose to read her only one to date, Lives of Girls and Women.  The book tells the story of Del Jordan, who comes of age in rural Ontario in the 1940s. 

Many of the sentences crafted by Munro I read more than once, they were that good.  For example, Munro writes,"...I felt remorse, that kind of tender remorse which has on its other side a brutal, unblemished satisfaction."  And also, "I had not had a friend before.  It interfered with freedom and made me deceitful in some ways, but it also extended and gave resonance to life."  The book didn't work as a cohesive novel, and is more of a series of disjointed vignettes.  I would recommend reading Alice Munro, but I would suggest you start with one of her short story collections.

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