Paperback review: Dear Life, By Alice Munro


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The Independent Culture

Munro’s collection of short stories is largely about betrayal, in its many forms.

From the moment Greta betrays her husband with a young man on the train and leaves her young daughter unattended in “To Reach Japan”, to the United Church minister who cheats on his wife in “Leaving Maverley”, and to Belle, whose father kills himself after watching her naked in the bath in “Train”, Munro skewers those devastating moments in life when we take a different direction from the one planned and things unravel, yet most often in surprisingly quiet ways (even Belle’s father’s suicide happens off-stage almost, as it were, unseen and unheard). Psychologically profound and perfectly drawn.