"The Love Of A Good Woman"
by Alice Munro
Reading history and reviews
Finished on 8th July 2011This is a collection of short stories which seem broadly to be about relationships between men and women, and parents and daughters. Generally I struggle with short story fiction - this was a book group choice - as to me the stories can often seem rather contrived and oddly truncated, and leaves me feel less invested in the characters. However I did enjoy these more than I'd expected: the stories seem to a bit more rounded and satisfying, and the characters populating them seemed to have space to breathe. Also Munro's writing is excellent throughout, quietly observing all the details of the lives that she writes about.
Unusually for me, I enjoyed all the stories in this collection - only the title story seemed to fall a little flat with its ending, although I still found it memorable. If I had to pick favourites then probably the last two have stuck in my mind the most vividly: "My Mother's Dream" is about a young widowed mother's struggle with her baby and her husband's sisters, while in "Before the Change" a grown up daughter returns home to live with her father after a failed engagement. I'm glad that I had the opportunity to read something that I wouldn't normally pick up, and I'd definitely consider reading more by Alice Munro in the future.