Title: Dear Life: Stories
Author: Alice Munro
Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Random House Audio
Date Completed: February - 2013
In the past I've tended to pass on short story collections but I've been trying to step out of my comfort zone a bit. This collection was a good choice for me.
Dear Life: Stories, by Alice Munro is a collection of 14 stories, most of them are set in the 1940s-1950s and take place in rural areas of Canada - probably somewhere near Ontario. Most of the stories had characters that are easy to feel for -- often flawed or with lives in turmoil. The characters and settings are what appealed to me the most. The stories seem very plausible and in many cases the readers, once they finish a particular story, will be left to form their own conclusions.
Some of stories in this collection that resonated with me the most were: In Sight of the Lake, story about a woman who seeks out a doctor to help her with her memory loss. Also, Pride, a story about a wealthy girl and a disabled boy who grew up in the same town and as adults have a somewhat awkward friendship. I also really enjoyed Amundsen, about a young woman who travels to a remote area to teach in a sanitarium for individuals who have contracted TB. Sadly, she lets herself be seduced by the doctor in charge and begins a no-win relationship.
The final (4) stories Munro wrote are called, The "Finale" are autobiographical in nature. Munro is 81 and it seems clear that through this collection she is looking back at her "Dear Life", and those I found bittersweet. Although most of the stories are a little sad, I did not find them depressing. Most involve a significant event that changes the lives of one or more of the people involved.
I would definitely recommend this short story collection. The audio book (Random House Audio) was read by Kimberly Farr and Arthur Morey who did a very good job.