Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Alice Munro's A Trip to the Coast

In between chapters of oncology textbooks, I treat myself to fiction. Such was the case this morning.

"A Trip to the Coast" by Alice Munro appears in her collection, Dance of the Happy Shades. I turn to Alice Munro when I want to escape to the country. In this story, we learn about the girl May who lives with her grandmother: a story of quiet rebellion and outspoken submission.

[May] accepted the rule of her grandmother as she accepted a rain squall of a stomach ache, with a tough, basic certainty that such things would pass.

Alice Munro A Trip to the Coast, in Dance of the Happy Shades Collection

May hangs out with her friend Eunie. They live in what can only be described as a dead town. With nothing much to do, they spend their time in the cemetery.

"We go to the cemetery," May said flatly. They did, too. She and Eunie went and sat in the cemetery almost every afternoon because there was a shady corner there and no younger children bothered them and they could talk speculatively without any danger of being overheard.

Reading about these poignant scenes of provincial life makes me long for home.

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