Jen's Reviews > Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro
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's review
Apr 30, 08

bookshelves: short-stories, gender-issues, book-club
Read in April, 2008

So, I read this book for the book club I recently joined. I voted for this selection for the month among a total range of 5 short story collections, and was pleased that this one was the most popular choice since it seemed most interesting to me. And it was pretty good, though I think Munro has a rather bleak view of male-female relationships (though some may call it realistic instead) - there was hardly a couple with whom extramarital affairs were considered unusual or ultimately harmful to the relationshp. But there are clearly sweet and tender moments throughout the book, they're just not at all romanticized. I think this is more of a study of gender relations in committed relationships - and of women finding themselves while in committed relationships - than it is a collection of "love stories". That's why I gave it the category of gender issues instead of romance. As most good short stories do, these tackle one to two elements of human or relationship characteristics and reveal truths about them - sometimes surprising, sometimes not. There were stories that I couldn't put down, and stories that started slow but finished strong, and stories that made me sad so I had to keep putting the book down and coming back to it later. Ultimately, I enjoyed the stories...but can't help wishing we'd chosen Roald Dahl's The Umbrella Man instead :)
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