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Booked for the Day

Dear Life: stories by Alice Munro

On Monday, August 4th, the Booked for the Day Book Group met to discuss, Dear Life: stories by Alice Munro. Here are a few things we discussed during the meeting:

We started our discussion by talking about Alice Munro’s life and the accolades and awards she received with the most recent one being the Nobel Peace Prize in Literature in 2013.

The book, Dear Life, was a collection of short stories, which include four autobiographical ones that gave us a glimpse into her childhood. Most of the short stories throughout the book take place around Lake Huron in Canada and the time period was around World War II which led us to believe that the stories were drawn from some of her own life experiences.

The short stories were based around the moment a person is forever changed due to a chance meeting, a twist of fate, or something they failed to do. The group tried to look at the stories based on that premise.

The reaction from the group was split. Some members enjoyed the stories even though at times the outcome and the characters’ actions were hard to understand. Others could not bring themselves to even finish the book after reading the first story.

We went around the room and each of us talked about our favorite story. In the story of Dolly, a door-to-door seller of cosmetics makes friends with a woman and that turns out to be an old flame of the woman's husband was a favorite of many in the group. Another favorite was Corrie because of the twist at the end of the story.

Unfortunately most of the members did not think that any of the stories were memorable and we all had to flip through the book to remember some of the story lines.  One of the reasons for this was because of the lack of a connection to any of the characters. We thought that the characters in the stories were just not likable and many of the stories were very dark. Other than In Sight of the Lake, where a woman is afraid of losing her memory, we felt no sympathy towards any other character.

One member was amazed that Alice Munro won so many awards.

These are just a few things mentioned during the discussion. Please feel free to add any of your thoughts in the comment section

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