"Too much happiness," murmurs Sophia Kovalevsky, joyful on her sickbed, in the title story of Alice Munro's remarkable meditation on the themes closest to her heart: hateship, friendship, courtship, loveship, marriage, to quote the title of her 2002 collection. Munro's stories always take the road less traveled to foster epiphanies in their characters and a subtle yet deep satisfaction in the reader, and "Too Much Happiness" is no different. Traveling by train through Denmark on her way to Stockholm, Sophia meets a doctor who respects her mathematical genius and, begging her not to go through plague-riddled Copenhagen, slips a tablet into her hand for consumption during the ferry ride away from that city. At this point, we have accompanied Sophia back and forth across time and place, from her early affinity for mathematics and the "white marriage" that enables her to attend college in ...
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