Review: Runaway

Posted 29 January, 2015 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

By: Alice Munro
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

The incomparable Alice Munro’s bestselling and rapturously acclaimed Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. In Munro’s hands, the people she writes about–women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children–become as vivid as our own neighbors. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.

I finally got around to reading some of Alice Munro’s books last year and found that I love them so much, I couldn’t believe I didn’t get around to her books sooner. I still have her first collection, Selected Stories, on my shelf waiting to be read, but this book was on sale at Kobo Books late last year, I just had to pick it up 🙂

This book is part of the Clean Your Reader – Reading Challenge that I am participating in January 2015.

Omg you guys, this book. This book. All the feels.

This collection of short stories were absolutely stunning, telling tales of women facing dilemmas and inner crises, searching for happiness, for relief, longing for self-actualisation. They are disappointed and they live in hope, they chafe under social expectations but despite of the hard times there’s that moment of realisation, a moment when people get them up. They mostly come from varied backgrounds (though I sense a running theme of either distant parents or families at the verge of a break-up), at different parts of the country.

I couldn’t put the book down once I started a story; their journeys were poignant, often times they break my heart. Alice Munro has such an eye for laying out the details of everyday life, of the thoughts that could enter one’s head as they go through the day’s tasks, the possibilities. It’s amazing.

It’s hard to choose a favourite story from this, to be honest. The title story started off slow but it picked up considerably, freaking me out in the process. The trilogy of stories featuring the character Juliet was interesting as we follow her during the three stages in her life; of the three I thought “Chance” was my favourite because I could identify with her on some level and it ended on a hopeful note whereas the other two left me feeling a little disengaged with Juliet (she became quite brittle as she became older). “Passion” was very interesting with a serious look into depression and alcoholism, “Tresspasses” was intriguing, but I think “Tricks” was the most heartbreaking. “Powers” is my least favourite though, didn’t quite engage me as the others.

Despite of the last bit, Runaway is overall a very solid collection of stories by Alice Munro. There’s nothing else I can say except read it (!!!), it’s absolutely captivating. I highly recommend reading this book if you’re looking to start checking out Alice Munro’s works or short stories in general, readers of women’s literature, Canadian literature, and contemporary adult.

Rating: ★★★★★

Visit the author’s official website || Order this book from the Book Depository

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