Picks and Pans Review: Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage
A cancer-stricken woman unexpectedly discovers the "unspeakable excitement" that comes "when a galloping disaster promises to release you from all responsibility." A young wife, reviewing her marriage, detects "a little hum of hate running along beside her love." You're in Munro country, where surprising emotion seethes quietly beneath the well-scrubbed surface of small-town Canada.
In an austerely plotted but moving collection of stories, Munro burdens her townsfolk with familiar worries—aging, family friction and sexual infidelity. Her insights, rendered in crisply restrained prose, lift masks without being judgmental. She makes her characters' struggles our own. (Knopf, $24)
Bottom Line: Ordinary people, extraordinary voice
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