A powerful new collection from one of our most beloved, admired, and honored writers.
In stories that are more personal than any that shes written before, Alice Munro pieces her familys history into gloriously imagined fiction. A young boy is taken to Edinburghs Castle Rock, where his father assures him that on a clear day he can see America, and he catches a glimpse of his fathers dream. In stories that follow, as the dream becomes a reality, two sisters-in-law experience very different kinds of passion on the long voyage to the New World; a baby is lost and magically reappears on a journey from an Illinois homestead to the Canadian border.
Other stories take place in more familiar Munro territory, the towns and countryside around Lake Huron, where the past shows through the present like the traces of a glacier on the landscape and strong emotions stir just beneath the surface of ordinary comings and goings. First love flowers under the apple tree, while a stronger emotion presents itself in the barn. A girl hired as summer help, and uneasy about her place in the fancy resort world shes come to, is transformed by her employers perceptive parting gift. A father whose early expectations of success at fox farming have been dashed finds strange comfort in a routine night job at an iron foundry. A clever girl escapes to college and marriage.
Evocative, gripping, sexy, unexpectedthese stories reflect a depth and richness of experience. The View from Castle Rock is a brilliant achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.
The first half of this collection is a little different to Munro's usual style, and the more entertaining for it. In the latter half she's on familiar territory but with the twist that she apparently reveals more of herself than in previous collection .... if Munro is a writer you have previously enjoyed or have not yet experienced, this maybe one for you, but if her writing has left you unmoved in the past The View From Castle Rock is unlikely to change your opinion. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
The Washington Post - Geraldine Brooks
Reading Munro, I often feel like that little girl, my mother, shivering in her dew-drenched nightgown, determinedly searching for an elusive, valuable thing. And that thing is the secret to Munro's prose. There are no pyrotechnics in it, very little poetry. The few similes are apt but not dazzlingly so. There is suspense, but it is contrived without resort to any obvious devices. In short, Munro is the illusionist whose trick can never be exposed. And that is because there is no smoke, there are no mirrors. Munro really does know magic: how to summon the spirits and the emotions that animate our lives.
Booklist - Brad Hooper
Writing style--yes, predictably limpid and lovely. And they are as psychologically astute as one would expect from a very "smart" writer. But they taste like autobiographical essays; her intrusions into the prose not as narrator but as actual author prove distracting and erode the veil of suspension of disbelief.
Starred Review. And reliably as ever when the subject is human experience, Munro's stories—whatever the proportions of fiction and fact—always bring us the truth.
All the narratives exhibit Munro's keen eye for realistic details and her ability to illuminate the depths of seemingly mundane lives and relationships. Highly recommended.
The Observer (UK) - Adam Mars-Jones
Reading some of these stories gives the feeling of wearing unfamiliar bifocals, needing to angle the head awkwardly so as to bring the fields of vision into alignment. Alice Munro starts with stories that are embroiderings of her family's history, then follows them with more personal pieces, where details are freely changed, but faith is kept with a core of memoir.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Greenstein view from castle rock Excellent.
Alice Munro was born in 1931 in
Wingham, a small town in southwestern
Ontario, to a family of small farmers.
She began writing stories at the age of
12. She won a two-year scholarship to
the University of Western Ontario and
while there published several short
stories in the student literary
magazine. She left before graduating,
some sources say this was because she
ran out of money, others say it was to
get married. She married another
student, James Munro, and they raised
three daughters and for several years
ran a bookshop in Victoria. Later they
divorced and she married Gerald Fremlin,
a geographer. The Fremlins divide their
time between Clinton, Ontario, not far
from Munro's hometown of Wingham, and
Comox, British Columbia.
Munro says that the turning point for
her writing came in 1959 when she wrote...
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