Braden's Reviews > Friend of My Youth

Friend of My Youth by Alice Munro
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's review
Mar 01, 09

Read in February, 2009

I love many of the individual stories here: "Friend of My Youth" (esp. the narrator's reflections on her mother at the beginning and end, which frame the story), "Five Points" (Maria, you heartbreaking girl), "Meneseteung" (!), "Pictures of Ice," "Oh, What Avails" (Best sentence: "Joan wants to keep this idea of rubble at bay"), and "Wigtime" (Best sentence: "She wrote another that said 'BIG FAT SLOB WITH YOUR BABY-FACED MORON," but she tore that up--she didn't like the tone of it).

These stories hit similar notes again and again-- nurses, reflections of middle-aged divorcees on their affairs, scottish presbyterians, and young women gone mad (often due, it is vaguely suggested, to gynecological conditions). My first instinct is to prefer the stories independently--but in truth, even with their commonalities, it is perhaps one of the marks of Munro's talent that the stories are as distinct from one another as they are.

It is a good book to read in dim cold weather.
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