A few years ago, I picked up Dear Life, having never read anything else by Alice Munro, and rarely, if ever, having had read a collection of short stories. I could hardly get through this book back then. It just didn’t hold my interest. But there was a article in the Wall Street Journal of an interview with Curtis Sittenfeld, an author whose books I adore greatly, and she spoke of how Alice Munro had inspired her writing. After reading the write-up I was convinced I should give Alice Munro one more try. I ended up listening to the audiobook version of Dear Life and to my surprise, I enjoyed this book! Sometimes I just give up too quickly if a book doesn’t hold my interest, so I am glad I gave this book another chance, as it turned out to be a collection of stories that were actually quite interesting.
Sometimes when I read a book of short stories I am left with the feeling that all the individual stories ended too soon. That was not the case with this book. I felt like all of the stories had a good solid ending that left no room for needing any extra explanation. An extra plus that came from reading this book is that a patron came into the library where I work the other day and asked if I or my co-worker had read anything by Alice Munro. I was able to tell her that I had, and that the book I read was actually quite good. This is a collection of stories that are deep and yet not too deep. They hit close to home, and the characters are likeable. I will definitely give Alice more chances in the future.
Profanity/Language: 5 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities; 2 scatological words; 1 anatomical term; 2 F-Word derivatives
Violence/Gore: War casualties mentioned with no detail; death of a parent mentioned; a car crash is mentioned, one casualty; a baby is mentioned to have been strangled but no detail is given; a child is mentioned to be beaten for punishment.
Sex/Nudity: Adults kiss; losing virginity is mentioned; adults are mentioned to have sex, no detail is given; prostitution is mentioned with no detail; an affair is mentioned to transpire between two married people.
Mature Subject Matter:
Alcohol / Drug Use:
Adults smoke; adults drink.