Thom Geier
November 02, 2012 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Dear Life

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Alice Munro
publisher
Knopf
genre
Short Stories, Fiction

We gave it an A

The characters in Munro’s absorbing new collection, Dear Life, still live in the shadow of WWII. Vivien goes to work at a rural hospital for tubercular kids and nearly marries the resident doctor. Jackson returns from battle and sets out on a peripatetic life as a general handyman. The cleft-lipped narrator of ”Pride” grows up in wartime and forges a platonic quasi-marriage with the daughter of a disgraced local banker. Most haunting of all are the four autobiographical sketches that end the book, which display Munro’s gift of observation and ability to trace big emotional arcs in short brushstrokes. A

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