Dear Life: Stories

A hit or miss collection. The hits include Corrie – a single woman left an inheritance and a limp whose married lover pretends to be blackmailed so she ends up slipping him envelopes of cash; In Sight of the Lake – an older woman struggling with her memory goes to the town a night ahead of time to figure out where her doctor is, only we find out she’s already in a nursing home and dreaming about the past; Train – a soldier returning from the war jumps off the train and makes a life for himself on a farm he walks past, later abandoning the woman and farm in a hospital in the city and becoming a property manager (which he later abandons); and Gravel – a woman leaves her husband with her two daughters, one eventually drowning in the waterlogged gravel pit beside their trailer. Of the worst parts, perhaps the last section, marked by Munro as Finale, four works that aren’t quite stories but the first and last things she has to say about her life.