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Runaway by Alice Munro
Alice Munro's set of short stories, Runaway, all concern Canadian woman facing pivotal moments in their lives, even if they're not aware of it at the moment. Each of the women stand aloof from the mainstream, choosing a path, consciously or subconsciously, that varies from society's expectations for women. In doing so, they explore the themes, not just of women's lives, but of the interaction with lovers, husbands, parents and children that provide the fabric to everyone's life. Alice Munro is perhaps the most accomplished short story writer today, and Runaway has received universal high praise. BookPage says, "With seemingly endless treasures to be unearthed in a single Alice Munro story, an entire collection offers almost an embarrassment of riches. As her admiring readers have discovered, her stories refuse to go away. They almost beg for a second or third reading, and can linger in your memory, sometimes for years, sometimes forever. That Munro can achieve this extraordinary feat within the limits of the short-story form, and do so time and time again, is nothing short of astonishing."