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The Love of a Good Woman

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  8,235 ratings  ·  781 reviews
**Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature**

Alice Munro has a genius for entering the lives of ordinary people and capturing the passions and contradictions that lie just below the surface. In this brilliant new collection she takes mainly the lives of women - unruly, ungovernable, unpredictable, unexpected, funny, sexy and completely recognisable - and brings their hidden
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 2nd 2000 (first published 1998)
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Ahmad Sharabiani
The Love of a Good Woman, Alice Munro

Alice Munro's work so strong a sense of life is particularly apparent in the title story, in which the death of a local optometrist brings an entire town into focus from the preadolescent boys who find his body, to the man who probably killed him, to the woman who must decide what to do about what she might know.

The Love of a Good Woman
Cortes Island
Save the Reaper
The Children Stay
Rich as Stink
Before the Change
My Mother's Dream

تاریخ نخستین خوان
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've never been one to read short stories - I've had a bit of a prejudice against them, if I'm going to be honest. It's not since the last year or two that I've made an effort to foray into the world of short stories, and to gain an appreciation for them. That's my feeble excuse for having lived this long without reading Alice Munro. Bad Canadian, I am! Bad!!

I'm not sure if I was just acclimatising myself to her style and rhythm, but I didn't get hooked onto this collection until I started readi
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
"The Love of a Good Woman" contains eight (8) great short stories which examine us (primarily women) in everyday dealings with others. These stories peep into relationships with family, friends, etc.

The writing gives one a clear picture of the setting and the people. Whether out-of-doors or inside the authors uses words to paint a picture. We learn every wrinkle on every face, every hair out of place, even every body odor.

Marriage, adultery, fornication, divorce, child birth, adoption, abortion
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It seems somewhat fitting on a Mother’s Day weekend to review Alice Munro’s The Love of a Good Woman, a very fine collection of eight stories. Set likely between the 1940s and 1970s in various Canadian cities, Munro offers a mesmerizing collage of ordinary women. They lead run-of-the mill lives and are confronted by challenges and temptations common to their gender. What holds center stage is how these women, in their fierce longing to be all they are meant to be, discover in themselves a humbli ...more
Nov 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stories full of old women, young women, lovers, cheaters, mothers, daughters, wives, writers, nurses, actresses, and each story burns with a quiet longing, a quiet passion, a quiet intensity. Not much to say that I haven't already said in the reviews of some of her other books and it all pretty much boils down to all hail Alice Munro. Along with Open Secrets, this is my favorite Munro collection--the fewer the stories in each collection, the better.

The Love of a Good Woman - 5
Jakarta - 4
Dec 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Katie Lumsden
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I can't believe it took me so long to read Alice Munro. A brilliant collection, with some really fantastic stories, and wonderful writing throughout. ...more
Gail Winfree
Oct 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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
Mar 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
i was a much happier person before i ever attempted to read this highly praised piece of pseudo-intellectual fiction. the boredom seeping out of alice munro's writing is deadlier than any virus. ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
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!
I've been reading these stories slowly over the past three months. I would read one, then I'd set the book aside, read something else. Then pick the book up for the next story. Alice Munro has been called one of the best modern short story authors, and it's easy to see why in this collection. There are no real narrative twists here, no thrilling plotlines, no magical powers. And yet. The characters radiate with authenticity and life in a way that's almost hard to believe. They aren't likeable, t ...more
Dec 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
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
Oct 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nbcc-winner
An engaging, interesting collection of eight short stories, mostly set in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s. The characters are well developed and the plot is generally unpredictable. None of the eight stories could be described as 'pleasant', but they are interesting. They are about issues including rebellious women who protect themselves from convention, controlling husbands / fathers, the frailty of marriage and how change can strain a marriage.

The short story, 'The Love of a Good Woman', starts
Alice Munro wins the Nobel Prize for literature: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/11/boo...

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
jani saneei
This is not my favourite Alice Munro short story collection (that would be Runaway) but it was such a joy to return to Munro’s work after a long time.

My favourite stories of this collection, as a new mother, had to be “Before the Change” and “My Mother’s Dream”. I also really enjoyed “Save The Reaper” and “The Children Stay”.

While this isn’t the collection I would recommend as an introduction to Munro’s writing (I would probably start with Lives of Girls and Women), it was still, of course, qu
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Loved these stories and puzzling out their meaning. They taught me how to read slowly, carefully, appreciatively...suspiciously. Munro drops clues like breadcrumbs: the stories are so satisfyingly solvable with patience and a big magnifying glass. She is meticulous with her image system. Every object, scene, event, situation, setting, works together to progress the plot and evoke the desired emotions. Reading and analyzing any one story is like taking a for-credit writing course.
Feb 12, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Oct 05, 2020 rated it liked it
I found this collection of short stories very challenging.
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
Eslam Abdelghany
And here comes this quote which expresses precisely my impression,at least,for the first irregular reading:-

"Some of these short stories are absolute treasures describing so much life and living with so little effort. Delightful, touching and very good ones. "

Alice deserves another tour,sooner or later she will have it,NO DOUBT.
Katharina S.
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Munro's short stories are extraordinary in that they contain whole lives (which should have taken whole novels) in the brief spaces of tales" is a review in my copy of this book and it greatly sums up my thoughts on those stories. Not a big fan of short stories myself I enjoyed the different lifes of women presented in each story and wondered how the author managed too put so much information on each person, the communities they live in , future, present, past in one short story without me ever ...more
Allan MacDonell
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Tina Bui
Mar 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is my first Munro book, and after hearing so much praise about this author, I was glad to finally sink my teeth into one of her pieces. This book is a collection of short stories, which required me to shift my thinking from my YA reading to my adult one. Munro's stories are vividly described, her characters are fully developed and the stories are strange and beautifully written. They are also sophisticated, complicated and melancholic. The serious tone reminded me of reading an Orhan Pamuk ...more
Jan Priddy
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's really unfair to give stars to Alice Munro. She is a star. All her stories are revelatory in their skill and humanity. So I judge them one against the other. It's been a long time since I read this one and it is not my very, very favorite. It probably deserves 5 stars. I will find it a reread and then make an adjustment. ...more
Maggie Roessler
It’s maybe the most common thing people ask me. What do you do all day? It takes me by surprise every time. What do I do? I don’t know, what do you do? Do I do anything? What have I ever done? 

I reassure myself that I do, in fact, do lots of different things. But the first answer that pops into my head is the same one. What do I do all day? I read.

And read.

And read some more. Books, papers, screens, scribbles, whatever. For all that I’m more connected with nature than ever here on Krangket Islan
Frances Sawaya
Feb 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
This was my first Munro experience.

I picked it up for the title alone. Early in our relationship, my husband would look at me fondly and say, "You're a good woman." I was ready to read about other "good" women. I've since forgiven myself for all my crazy, not "good woman" moments because I don't hold a candle to these women.

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who love short stories and those who hate short stories. I'm with the former, which means Munro suited me just fine because
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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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