By: Alice Munro
Subject Matter: 1931; Love of a good woman
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.
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Rejected Princesses by Jason Porath
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence