Open Secrets, Paperback Book
5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Ranging from the 1850s through two world wars to the present, and from Canada to Brisbane, the Balkans and the Somme, these dazzling stories reveal the secrets of unconventional women who refuse to be contained.


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Here are the things I love about these short stories. Munro’s scope: the stories can span extensive time periods; her juxtaposition of exotic locations with small-town Canada; her use of different forms, such as letters; and the variety of excellently defined characters.The stories are usually set in small-town Ontario, with some of the some characters popping up in different stories, seen from skewed angles. The jigsaw is probably an overused metaphor, but I have to use it, because I love them. Her book is a jigsaw puzzle with a lake, reflecting back a dark forest and a multiplicity of houses, shops and figures. Her puzzle is missing some pieces, which allows my imagination to try and stamp in the misshapen bits of my own understanding.These stories gave me the stomach pit feeling of anticipation and fear, that I associate with the break neck adventures of youth. Including characters both youthful and old gives me hope that I will continue to experience that feeling.The language is just right. It doesn’t show off, but it’s so very very good. My favourite phrase was “secret capability” in Spaceships have landed, it was used to describe the abilities of a woman the main character believed to be small town prostitute.

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