The Competition – a review of Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro
Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro

The Book:

Ugh, ugh, ugh!

That about sums up my review of this novel.  Sorry it’s so negative, but this book was a chore to finish.  Just not great.  Had it not been in the competition, I would have left it unfinished and returned it!

Alice Munro started her writing career creating short stories.  I’ve read a couple and they were nice.  I always appreciate the strength and humanity of her female protagonists.

Earlier this month, she won the Nobel Prize for literature.  For her short stories.  Which, is what I feel this novel should have stayed.

It read like a short story the author simply tried to stretch.  Note, it was her first attempt to write a novel (1971), so I do give credit for that transition and how hard it must be.  But as a reader, I didn’t enjoy it.  The rhythm of the book is very slow as you struggle to maintain your train of thought through her frequent, overly descriptive metaphors.  Unfortunately, there is so much time spent creating imagery and setting the scene, one forgets about the characters and the story!

I feel she spent too much time trying to be lyrical or poetic and it just fell flat for me.

The Competition:

Given the chance, this will be the very first book I vote off.  I expect there will be a certain level of interest in it for the Nobel celebrity but I hope my arguments will be enough to overcome those and keep Omens in the game past round 1!

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