“This is the way it’s done, isn’t it? This is how other people do it.” How other people live their lives, that is. When Carol Shields tells the story of Larry Weller’s life, it begins with his having picked up somebody else’s coat and it ends with a party.
Perhaps, like many of us, Alice Munro has read and fully inhabited a story filled with wonders only to be cheated with the last-line revelation that the guts of that story were nothing but a dream. In contrast, "My Mother's Dream" subverts that expectation and begins with the dream, before
The story begins with conflict, the televised debate between Kennedy and Nixon. But "Before the Change" considers other conflicts, closer to home, closer to the heart. "What is that expression? It’s as if he’s got a list of offenses both remembered and anticipated and he’s letting it be known how
In "Save the Reaper" and "The Children Stay" readers are directed to wonder what young children remember of their parents' shenanigans, but in this story readers inhabit Karin's perspective. Karin is certainly old enough to actively observe and contemplate the events unfolding around her (although from a girl's perspective, so
As with the earlier stories in this collection, readers are cast back in time: by thirty years in "The Children Stay". Readers find themselves on the east coast of the Island, Vancouver Island, but the exact location of the cottage is reminiscent of the way in which the Maitland River