My rating: 5 of 5 stars
In Alice Munro’s Runaway her poignant and captivating stories revolve around family, aging, and discovering ones position and purpose in twentieth century Canada.
The stories span decades, lifetimes, giving the collection an epic quality. Some of the stories are linked, engaging the reader to discover if the others contain overlapping characters or stand alone in Munro’s Canadian wilderness. Whether linked or not, the stories revolve around a central female characters who struggle to come of age or show the reader some incisive fact about their core beings. In the end, to put it in Munro’s words, the stories “crumble dark and tenderly into something like soot and soft ash.” They leave readers feeling as if they’ve just finished perusing some cluster of journals or somehow experienced the entirety of another’s life in dream they can’t quite remember.