This is a classic by Alice Munro. I took out the book recently again to re-read it again. I just love Munro’s writing, and even after re-reading it yet again I can see why people absolutely love her work.
This is Alice Munro’s only novel. It is an insightful, honest book. It is autobiographical in form but not in fact. It chronicles a young girl’s growing up in rural Ontario in the 1940s.
Del Jordan lives out at the end of the Flats Road on her father’s fox farm where her most frequent companions are an eccentric bachelor family friend and her rough younger brother.
When she begins spending more time in town, she is surrounded by women–her mother, an agnostic, opinionated woman who sells encyclopedias to local farmers, her mother’s border, the lusty Fern Dogherty, and her best friend, Naomi, with whom she shares the frustrations and unbridled glee of adolescence.
Through these unwitting mentors and in her own encounters with sex, birth and death, Del explores the dark and bright sides of womanhood. All along she remains a wise, witty observer and recorder of truths in small-town life. The result is a powerful, moving, and humorous demonstration of Alice Munroe’s unparalleled awareness of the lives of girls and women.
This is a story for all women and girls who wonder about the informative years of a great award-winning writer. It is a story that I could not put down. I have a copy on my shelves, and I have to dust it off every few years and read it again. Every time I read it, I learn something new nuance about Alice Munro.