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Lives of girls and women. A novel [Unknown Binding]

Alice Munro
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B001780SGK
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As finely worked as an intricate embroidery 22 July 2013
By Allie
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book, rich as a banquet, as finely worked as an intricate embroidery, the kind of book I love to read and the kind I aspire to write.
It reads like an auto-biography but is in fact a novel, which chronicles the girlhood and journey to womanhood of Del. Del is an extra-ordinary girl in an ordinary town - the town's name, Jubilee, is beautifully ironic as nothing the least bit celebratory or festive ever happens there. Two things make her extra-ordinary. Her non-conforming, encyclopaedia-selling mother is the first. She brings Del up in spite of her dull, compliant father, to question everything, especially the sacred cows of Jubilee society, and to expect great things of herself. The second thing is Del herself, her gimlet eye and penetrating understanding, her capacity for reflection, her innate intelligence.
Warring against these forces are the usual, but so truthfully rendered, forces of adolescence; peer pressure, childish curiosity, teenage rebellion. Any woman and I suspect most men will have spent time, as Del does, both yearning for God and not believing in him, hating and loving their parents at one and the same time, eaten up with stammering self-consciousness when the boy we have been fantasising about in explicit, breathless Technicolor just so much as looks our way. The consuming fear and obsessive fascination of sex. This is a coming of age novel as good, and probably better, than any I have read.
Jubilee is peopled by a cast of wonderful characters, some of them only sketchily drawn and yet still amazingly corporeal; Del's two eccentric Aunts, Mr Chamberlain, the paedophile Radio announcer, Miss Farris the doomed school teacher.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can be enjoyed by men too! 16 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an early memoir by Nobel laureate, Alice Munro. It is, I'm told, her only full length book. It tells the story of her life from early adolescence through to her final school exams in small town Canada. It is in turns moving, funny, charming, quirky and very much of its time. I loved it. It is a very female piece. Men play a small role and are mostly objects of amusement or bemusement, and, in one case, thorough grubbiness - but, though the title may sound off-putting, it was, for me a joyous read.
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