Dear LIfe – Short Stories by Alice Munro #Blogchatter #TBRChallenge #BookReview

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Dear Life by Alice Munro– Short Stories Collection

Before I dive into the book review of Dear Life written by the celebrated Canadian author Alice Munro, let me share a quote from this book to give you a feel of the writing.

"The dream was in fact a lot like the Vancouver weather—a dismal sort of longing, a rainy dreamy sadness, a weight
that shifted round the heart."

All the fourteen stories in Dear Life are set in the backdrop of Canada (Munro’s home turf), and give such an appealing account of Canadian weather and lifestyle that you will feel as if you have been there. This is also something I loved about the book, learning about a country, its dialect, its streets, the food, etc. Of course, Alice Munro belonging to the Silent generation ( born between 1928 to 1945) one sees a much more older version of Canada from what it is today.

Genre

It is tough to slot the stories into any particular genre , let’s just say that Dear Life takes you through  an entire gamut of emotions, from love, loss, ennui to  passion, in short the whole kit and caboodle. These stories explore the lives of ordinary Canadian people going through life just like you and me, children, men and women out and about moving on, occasionally reminiscing sometimes facing extraordinary situations.If i think deeply, there is a common thread running through them – that of departures and beginnings, Chance encounters, and journeys.

Dear Life – The Title Story

The title story, “Dear Life,” is a powerful but understated look at a mother-daughter relationship,with all the complicated sentiments that come with it.This story has autobiographical shades as the author herself tells us in the introduction.Munro walks us through her life growing up in Canada with strict parenting which was the norm those days, the aspirations of her middle class parents, her Mother’s early onset Alzheimer’s disease all in an earnest manner.

Writing Style

Munro’s writing is like magic. She uses simple words that penetrate deep and make you feel everything her characters are feeling. She uses uncomplicated and simple language and short sentences that say a lot in just a few words.One would wonder if writing about complex situations can actually feel that effortless.

No Moral Preachings

Alice Munro does not preach about morality , she lets the reader go with the flow , just like her characters , feeling one with the narrative and a part of the landscape.Whether it is a mother giving in to momentary passion with a stranger when on a train ride with her daughter or the story of a young woman with slight disability having an affair with a married man, Munro does not pass judgements, she does not dwell on the moral grey areas.Life moves on , these are just real people, with real desires and real fears.There are no perfect people, no perfect relationships, no perfect stories and no perfect endings either and yet life goes on is the message in almost every story.

As Munro says herself “… “because this is not a story, only life.” in the title story Dear Life.

Dear life by Alice Munro

Basically, Read Dear Life If…

  • You want a good cry (or laugh, or both)
  • You just want to read a book that is just like life – realistic and engaging with its honest narration
  • You appreciate the art of writing
  • You are curious why Alice Munro is called the “Master of the Short Story”

Let me summarise by saying that Dear Life isn’t just a collection of stories, it’s a celebration of life’s messy beauty.It seems drab in places and slow paced too but overall it is a good read. So grab a cup of coffee, curl up with this book, and get ready for an emotional journey.This is the perfect book to pick up on a rainy cold day, when it’s too dreary to go out and you just want to spend time reading something about life and people , it is neither heavy on sentiments nor superficial.Something that just connects with you.

Dear Life by Alice munro short stories

Book Specifications

Book Title – Dear Life

Author – Alice Munro

Genre – Short stories, Emotional Stories , Literary Fiction,, Contemporary Fiction

Price – Rs 905/- (for paperback), Rs 279/- (kindle version)

Language – English

I’m participating in the June #TBRChallenge by Blogchatter)

Visit my Goodreads profile to check out my ratings and reviews of some lovely books.

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