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The Love of a Good Woman

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  3,796 ratings  ·  330 reviews
Eight new stories about what people will do for love, and the unexpected routes their passion will force them to take. A prim, old landlady in Vancouver with a crime of passion lurking in her past. A young mother with a secret life who abandons her children to be with her lover. A country doctor in the 1960s discovered by his daughter to be helping desperate women, his "sp ...more
Paperback, 395 pages
Published October 14th 1999 by Penguin Canada (first published 1998)
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I do not often read short stories but after reading so many good reviews for Alice Munro's writing I at last decided to read her. And I was not disappointed - by her writing. But I am conflicted by the stories themselves. The stories are very intimate slices of life. It's as if across the span of someone's life, Munro reaches in and randomly grabs a moment when the character is at a crossroads. There is little introduction to each story, few details of what came before this moment. You get exact ...more
I’m sure I’m not the first to point out how well Alice Munro does things like develop characters, convey a sense of place, and tell fully fleshed out stories, all in a fraction of the space it takes novelists. At the same time, she seems to leave pieces of the puzzle out, making us wonder what her bigger points may have been. We’re rarely bludgeoned by the obvious. I’m going to guess, though, that any signal distortion is a problem on my end, not hers.

The people in her stories are engrossing and
Sottilissima, ineffabile, Munro. Entra nelle vite della gente evitando ogni didascalia. Sceglie un... “improvviso” e comincia a dire ciò che vede, a sguardi. Dopo un po', con la medesima istantanea leggerezza, si distacca, abbandona la vicenda al suo cammino e il lettore al suo pensiero. Non si dilunga, osserva e basta. Il racconto, poi, lo facciamo noi, con quel bisogno naturale di paragoni che distingue gli uomini, quando osservano l'altrui destino. Componiamo scenari, caratteri, vicende e giu ...more
I don’t know where to start with this book so I'm just going to dive in. Alice Munro is a very very good writer, the sort of talent who makes me think of Anne Rice's quip that Renoir sold his soul: it doesn't figure that a person can craft such luminously wonderful art without divine or diabolical help!

One of the things she does magnificently is write about children from their perspective in a way that is as delightful and frustrating and surprising as actually being with children. Once you've m
Per fortuna c'e' chi sa guardare alla natura femminile con tanta lucidita', e sa svelare quello squarcio manifesto o in forma solo abbozzata, o in divenire, che sa trasformare uno scenario fatto di tran tran quotidiano vuoto e monotono, in altro inaspettato e inspspettato. E lo fa con una scrittura capace di trasformare cio' per un essere normodotato rimane a livello di larvale pensiero o intuizione, in parola scritta cristallina e possente.
Di notte si sente crescere il mais: semplice frase che contiene l'essenza di Alice Munro.
Come è possibile sentire il mais che cresce? Magia? Fantascienza? In qualsiasi caso, quintessenza di mistero. Mistero quotidiano, quasi banale: si tratta semplicemente di mais, una vegetale che cresce, niente di più.
Nel quotidiano, fra la gente e le cose di tutti i giorni, esiste il mistero: basta saperlo individuare. Ma soprattutto, occorre saperlo raccontare. Munro ci ri
Gail Winfree
When Alice Munro—an 82-year-old Canadian woman who writes short stories—received the Nobel Prize for Literature (calling her the “master of the contemporary short story”) last year, I was excited. I knew Munro, but had never read her work. So I went upstairs and started going through my bookshelves to find something by her. (That’s the good thing about having an extensive collection of books: You don’t have to go far to find what you’re looking for.) “The Love of a Good Woman” is the book I foun ...more
There is so much that I love about this collection of stories. For me, when a short story is written well, there is nothing better. There is something just so perfect in that tightly constructed package, where words (and pages) aren't wasted, and you experience the whole thing in one burst of reading. I guess if I was a faster reader, this might hold true for novels too - but I rarely read a novel in less than a week.

It is no secret Munro is a highly skilled writer, with a knack for elevating th
pierlapo  quimby
In una raccolta di otto racconti che ruotano attorno agli stessi temi c'è il rischio di percepire ripetitività o, quanto meno, la sensazione di essere di fronte a continue variazioni sull'argomento, anche se poi di variazioni minime si tratta, ché l'angolo della visuale è sempre quello.
Si direbbe che la Munro abbia voluto esorcizzare il demone della vecchiaia e del trascorrere del tempo che modifica i rapporti con i coniugi, gli ex-coniugi, i figli, i nipoti e le loro speranze e aspettative - pe
Read half of the stories in this book and don't know why, but none of them made me want to read the rest, and I had to make myself keep picking it up again, when I really just wanted to move on to a different book. So....since I started it four days ago and didn't get very far, that's what I'm going to do!
JUST READ THESE STORIES! They are like those times when you fall into unintended reverie and there's that one memory that sticks out without you being totally conscious of it. Well, she is conscious of it, and that is the stuff good short stories are made of.
I'd like to give this book 3.5 stars, but I can't, so it only gets three. I don't know about Alice Munro. Her stories are compelling, but... I can't put my finger on it. Perhaps I just didn't like the theme of this collection.

I'm glad I read it, and I enjoyed reading it, but it didn't really grab me, or speak to me, or make me think in the ways others have. I found myself forgetting what happened in the previous stories, and having to remind myself of the "theme" of the collection, which the st
Peter Colclasure
Only the first story in this collection really held my interest. Everything this else was a bit of a wash. Dull, somber, interchangeable characters, plagued with a congenital inability to communicate with others. It's frustrating to spend 300 pages with people where all you want to do is slap them and say, "talk to each other!" Maybe this reticence is a Canadian thing?

There was one story which culminated in a young girl being set on fire, the only point while reading the book where I laughed ou
Faeze Taheri
به نظر من، درست همان موقع بود که به جنس زن درآمدم. می‌دانم که این موضوع مدت‌ها پیش از تولد من تعیین شده بود و برای هر کس دیگری از ابتدای زندگی‌ام روشن بوده، اما باور دارم این اتفاق درست همان زمانی افتاده که تصمیم گرفتم برگردم، که دست از جنگیدن علیه مادرم برداشتم (که حتماً جنگی علیه صلح ابدی او بوده)، در واقع وقتی که بقا را در برابر پیروزی برگزیدم (مرگ آن پیروزی به حساب می‌آمد)، آن وقت بود که طبع زنانه‌ام را پذیرفتم.

خیلی خوب بود، داستان کوتاهایی بود که هر کدومش میتونست کلی ذهن آدمو درگیر کنه. و ب
Cynthia Collu
ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é brava, ma quant'é bra ...more
Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize for literature:

Well deserved! If you haven't read her short stories yet, this collection is a great place to start. These stories focus on woman as the main characters, women who are trying to find their place in life and in many ways, women who are not happy with the roles in life where they have been placed. Many of the decisions chosen by the women bothered me, some I applauded but always the stories are beautiful and w
Allan MacDonell
Now that I’m coming late to the books of Alice Munro, I’ve finally arrived at this: Nothing flashy, no showoff tactics and no clever calling attention to the author’s mastery. The whole-life characters who open their souls in Munro’s The Love of a Good Woman are drawn from a section of the planet where people are clouded in drizzle and where every step is hazarded on a piece of ground that sooner or later reverts to a path of slippery, sucking mud. In contrast to the murky, sliding settings, a c ...more
Levan Tsutskiridze
შთამბეჭდავი მოთხრობების კრებულია. ალის მანროს თანაბრად კარგად შეუძლია ადამიანის როგორც ნათელი, ისე გაუგებარი, წინააღმდეგობრივი, ხშირად ბნელი მოტივების გაშლა და რაც მთავარია აღწერა. პრინციპში, ეს არის კიდეც მანროს სტილი: "ამოაბრუნოს" ყველაზე კეთილშობილი მოვლენები, ქცევები თუ იმპულსები და მათი ხშირად მოულოდნელი, წინააღმდეგობრივი და ნეგატიური საფუძვლები გვიჩვენოს ხშირად თვითონ მოთხრობების ფაბულა და კულმინაცია სუსტი პულსივითაა და ძალიან ფაქიზი: თუ დაკვირვებით არ კითხულობ და არ ხარ ამ ამბებში ემოციურ ...more
Frances Sawaya
It's interesting that goodreads asks the question, "What did you think?" When reading Munro there are other questions that deserve asking: how did you feel; what shook your roots; what changed your beliefs? The stories in this collection all raised those issues, in varying degrees of course. Yesterday I went into the readers' comments for this book and was surprised that some people thought there was little going on and thus gave the book 2 stars. Looking at only one story, "Save the Reaper" for ...more
one of her better short story collections and they are all pretty darn good. Explores issues of what makes people stay or go without beating you over the head with the issue. Of coruse that is kind of her signature, subtlety.
In this collection of eight short stories, Alice Munro writes about the ordinary lives of small town folk – mostly women – generally set in Canada around the 1950s. I’m not a fan of short story collections to begin with, and this collection hit all the reasons why I don’t care for them. With very similar settings and topics, all the stories blend together in my mind. Nothing and no one becomes memorable. And, I certainly can’t become attached to any character or emotionally invest in a story if ...more
This is the first work by Alice Munro that I have read, and I an both impressed and moved. The seven stories in this volume depict the poignancy of life for a variety of "ordinary Canadians." The middle five stories are especially compelling, and only the last one failed to work for me at all. Munro is adept at reporting detail, especially in creating believable dialogue. The stories are plain and somewhat dark, and a kind of sadness pervades the book. Somehow, though, this did not depress me, a ...more
Elizabeth (Alaska)
This book is a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Each story was good, but not great; taken together, above average, the whole strengthening as each unrelated story is added with the others.

Munro's prose is almost soothing - in the first pages I could feel myself relax, just take it in, let the words wash over me. I think this is how most of the characters found life, too - that they just took it in, let it wash over them. None of the women seemed to have aspirations for
I read this with VIFF Friends book Club. Here's my review from

I am not usually a fan of short fiction, so when my book club decided we would read The Love of a Good Woman, I was skeptical. Yes, I've heard really great things about Alice Munro, but I like a book I can really "sink my teeth into". Alice Munro has changed my opinion.

Now I know why Alice Munro has been called the master of short story. Her artistry shines with broad stroke of her pen. One of my complaints of short storie
Mary Billinghurst
This is a terrific collection, one of Alice Munro's best. I enjoyed all the stories, and found them less puzzling and more realistic than those in Open Secrets. I very much enjoyed the title story, "The Love of a Good Woman". "Cortes Island", "The Children Stay". and "Before the Change" but my absolute favourite was "My Mother's Dream".

I was mesmerized throughout this tale. One of its many strengths was the narrator, an infant girl who tells her mother's story. The characters in this family are
Haunting, open-ended, masterful stories. "Before the Change," about a woman who discovers her father is an illegal abortionist, left me breathless and stunned. People have said Munro's short stories are like novels, and "Before the Change" felt like listening to an entire symphony complete and clear in five minutes. People always mention "The Children Stay," and interestingly I put the story down and thought "That wasn't as good as I thought." And then for days later my mind kept going back to i ...more
Alice Munro is my favorite short-story writer, but this particular collection did not impress me much. The stories almost seemed like fragments pulled together after an author's death, which is strange because Munro is thankfully still alive. One of the stories even had a Updikeian feel, but I read it anyway, and liked it better than any actual Updike writing. The one thing that struck me about these stores was that most were set during summer holidays in waterfront cottages. So I do not have to ...more
Excellent! So many others have talked about Munro's remarkable ability to animate characters, relationships, communities in such short spans, so I won't belabor the point. I hadn't read any Munro before but she will be an author I return to to improve my own characterization, plot and structuring or stories. She is a master of the form. This is one of the few times that I actually get excited about reading short stories. The slightly longer lengths of the stories allows them to come to an end wi ...more
Li os dois primeiros contos, gostei muito do segundo, mas deixei de lado por outro livro. Voltei a ele e que bom.

É um livro forte, com histórias de diferentes mulheres. Algumas são assustadores, outras tocam o coração. Uma, especialmente, Save the Reaper, me deu frio na espinha e me lembrou um dos contos mais assustadores que eu já li, Where are you going, where have you been, de Joyce Carol Oates.

As histórias vão se desenvolvendo aos poucos, mostrando o passado dos personagens de uma forma surp
Andy Miller
A typically good collection of Alice Munro short stories written shortly before the collection was published in 1998

"Jakarta" is of the genre that Munro is famous for, a focus on characters early in their lives with a connection between two of them many years later that shed light on the early interactions. Here, the focus is on two young wives living off a beach in Vancouver Island, one married to a journalist with communist sympathies and immersed in a "swinging" lifestyle, the other married t
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500 Great Books B...: The Love of a Good Woman - Alice Munro - Jen 2 13 Aug 13, 2014 07:52AM  
CBC Books: * 1998 - The Love of a Good Woman by Alice Munro 11 25 Mar 07, 2014 12:02PM  
  • From The Fifteenth District
  • Light Lifting
  • Island: The Complete Stories
  • A Bird in the House
  • The Polished Hoe
  • The Book of Secrets
  • Women in Their Beds: New and Selected Stories
  • Mrs. Ted Bliss
  • Stanley Park
  • Children of My Heart
  • Open
  • A Good House
  • Hellgoing: Stories
  • The Collected Stories of Carol Shields
  • Whylah Falls
  • Cocksure
  • Born with a Tooth
  • The Withdrawal Method
Alice Ann Munro, née Laidlaw, is a Canadian short-story writer who is widely considered one of the world's premier fiction writers. Munro is a three-time winner of Canada's Governor General's Award for fiction. Her stories focus on human relationships looked at through the lens of daily life. She has thus been referred to as "the Canadian Chekhov."

She is the winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in Liter
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“If I decided to send this to you, where would I send it? When I think of writing the whole address on the envelope I am paralyzed. It's too painful to think of you in the same place with your life going on in the same way, minus me. And to think of you not there, you somewhere else but I don't know where that is, is worse.” 63 likes
“For we did makeup. But we didn't forgive each other. And we didn't take steps. And it got to be too late and we saw that each of us had invested too much in being in the right and we walked away and it was a relief. ” 42 likes
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