Family Furnishings: Selected Stories, 1995-2014

By: Alice Munro
Subject Matter: 1931; Love of a good woman
Rating: 4/5

Family Furnishings

I read “The View from Castle Rock” in high school and have been trying desperately to get back to Alice Munro ever since.

And I still think that’s an outstanding story.

As are many of the selected stories in this collection, Family Furnishings.

But be prepared – this is a long book. And it is maybe best not read cover to cover, which hurts my soul to admit.

There’s a fair amount of overlap in subject matter. Some common tropes: young misfit girl who is from a family that is more well off than others but just barely so; stories that start with “When I was younger”; distant mothers; mountains; farms; killing animals; failed love relationships.

But then there are a lot of TOTALLY off base stories. Some really, really good ones, like one called “Amundsen” and one called “Jakarta”. Just wildly different.

I love Alice Munro. Her attention to detail, sometimes painstaking detail. Her ability to tell a story about a situation you’ve yourself been in without any of the details mattering. Her heartbreak and just general world-weariness or maybe a dull depression.

But it’s a lot. So take it or leave it.




Coming up:

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath

Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence

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