Alice Munro (2006) the view from Castle Rock
Posted by celticman on Wed, 20 Nov 2013
As Graham Greene famously said: ‘There’s always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.' This the seed crop of Munro’s stories. It shows her father’s, fathers’ father, a cousin of James Hogg, leaving the Ettrick Valley in Scotland for the wilds of America, which was really Canada. A good author draws you in and puts you on the boat with them. I was all for leaving the Laidlaw family on the boat, but I persevered until they hit the new country. It was a rocky patch. I almost left the family stranded mid-page, but then I picked up a distant view of Munro’s father, William Laidlaw, named after the one before the son. There are so many it got a bit confusing. With Munro’s father the reader is on solid rock and the fog of confusion disappeared. Munro creeps up on his life with a writer’s eye, the splinters of their comparative youth held up to our eye. The view from Castle Rock is not America, or even Fife, it’s the human heart and a man’s life.