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April 13, 2015

Vacation Book One: Dear Life, by Alice Munro

dear-lifeAirport book buying was a little bit disappointing—anything that looked compelling, I’d already read. Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore was a contender but I was concerned it wouldn’t hold up to my expectations. I’d already read Gone Girl and Gillian Flynn’s first book, and The Girl on the the Train, so I was pretty much out of luck. But luckily, there was Alice. Whom I really haven’t read an awful lot of, so it was Dear Life. A bit of an anti-climax. I’d been picturing something more culturally appropriate for the UK, but alas. I read half of the first story on our very uneventful and pleasant flight. On Saturday morning, we arrived on our friend’s doorstep at 8am and then the children and we spent the whole day awake after a sleepless night (though Iris slept in the stroller while we were on a walk through town). The weather was sunny and beautiful, and it kept us alive as the day went on—another set of houseguests from California arrived at our friend’s that afternoon, and Harriet and Iris had an ecstatic day of play with other kids. I couldn’t have read a word because when I sat down my eyes closed. At 7:35, we all fell asleep on the second page of This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall, and then mostly slept all night, the best night’s sleep I’ve had in 2 years. Yesterday, we went to visit Stuart’s friend who lives in the middle of the Oxfordshire countryside and had a splendid time at their house before driving up north. We arrived here at 7:30 last night, the children enthusiastically received by grandparents, and now my reading vacation truly begins. I love Dear Life, which is more interesting and less samey than Munro’s fiction is often accused of being. I have hopes of reading all morning while the children are taken to the beach, and then I’m going to move on to Book 2, which I bought at Waterstones in Windsor on Saturday morning—The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald. The first Penelope Fitzgerald book I ever read, and I look forward to revisiting it now that I’m more familiar with her. England is lovely, sunny and beautiful, and all the daffodils are in full bloom.

4 thoughts on “Vacation Book One: Dear Life, by Alice Munro”

  1. Sara says:

    Reading this makes me wonder if you’ve read Sixpence House by Paul Collins. You might like it.
    Hope you have a wonderful time!

  2. kate says:

    ah, this munro is sitting on the milkbox as i write, hubsJ is all over it so i’ve got to wait. good to know its worth the wait… :)happy vacation!

  3. Ok, I like Dear Life but I LOVE This Can’t Be Happening at MacDonald Hall. Can you please report on how this foray into Korman-land goes over with your kids? Also, I hope you are having a wonderful wonderful trip!

  4. Airport bookshops tend to be depressing and have limited selection if you’re an avid reader.

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