Multilayered, every-flavoured and honest, Munro takes us on an insightful journey through a unique collection of short stories, whilst popping into different decades and getting to know a variety of characters from different social classes.
Here I shall share my thoughts on a few of these stories.
To Reach Japan
To be honest, I found To Reach Japan to be quite hard to get into at first. It became a strange and shocking tale and the characters were quite unlikeable. Despite this, I still enjoyed Munro’s unique style, and could tell that this was going to be a book like no other.
Perhaps my favourite of the collection. I felt like I could empathise with these characters more than those in the other stories.
You feel like you are a few steps ahead of the protagonist. She’s quite naive, yet I could relate to her; I might have found myself in a similar situation in the past.
I felt that Amundsen was a great story; well-written, enjoyable and even wholesome at times, I was happy to be transported to this strange little place with relatable people for an afternoon.
A story that really epitomises defining moments. It’s not a light-hearted, fun or jovial tale; it’s rock-solid, heavy and real, as ‘Gravel’ implies.
For me, this is a tale about how moments can define us; how memories can alter slightly when we look in our rear-view mirror; how a small action, or indeed a lack of an action can upturn your life or mean the end of a life.
As I was reading it, I also felt stuck myself – caught like the characters who felt unable to do something.
I’m not sure if I ‘enjoyed’ Gravel, but I must say, it’s a bloody good story.
I haven’t got a lot to say about Train right now. It left me almost speechless and I think I still need to digest it more before I share my nuggets of thought.
What I will say for now is that it is slow, at times, yet intense and well written. It is real.
In Sight of the Lake
Loved how it was written. Beautiful. Gorgeous. Sad. Sweet. Lovely. It made me tear up a bit towards the end.
So easy to read. The dialogue was excellent. The characters were full bodied and full of life. Really liked it.
Overall, I really enjoyed ‘Dear Life’. It’s a celebration of those defining moments in life – seemingly small, big or strange at the time. It’s about how they affect us. How they can change the trajectory of our lives. How a single moment, action or conversation can change everything. How memories can be blurry or crystal clear. How things can, and almost always do, change. How terrible humans can be. How wonderful people can be. How real we are. What it means to be ‘human’. What it means to be inhumane. How we are multidimensional creatures with a story to tell.
It’s a collection of stories and juxtaposing snapshots of life which are raw, heartbreaking, funny and bizarre. Tales that pull at your insides and makes you look inside and outside simultaneously.
It’s about the beauty and ugliness of life and all of its shades and textures.
What did you make if it?