I just finished reading Alice Munro’s My Best Stories, a collection of short stories picked by the author. I wrote a book review that I posted on Examiner, but found that I had more to say about the book than I wanted to share in a review.
I enjoyed reading this collection, and found that I connected with many of the stories contained within. One I connected with more strongly than I would have liked. The first page of one of the stories (Friend of my Youth for anyone who is curious) described a woman who dreamed about her deceased mother and all of the emotions that this dream brought to the surface. I felt that I could have written this passage, it described my own feelings going through this exact situation. I had to put the book down and cry, at which point Scott threatened to kick Alice Munro because she upset me. He made me laugh, but I found that I was slightly angry as well, she hit a nerve and I wasn’t expecting it so I could not be prepared. On the other hand, at the same time I felt grateful. As hard as this section was to read, it was also deeply touching and reassuring to hear another person reacting to these dreams in the exact same fashion I had, even if it was a fictional character.
So, I am curious, has anyone else ever been punched in the face by a book like this? The book does not have to have brought up feelings of sorrow; have you ever read a passage that was so similar to your own experiences that you could have written it yourself? I will be interested to read any comments. . .