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The View from Castle Rock by Alice Munro
The View from Castle Rock is part family history, part memoir, but Alice Munro tells it in a short story format. In a mixture of fact and fiction, she tells of her family's emigration from Scotland in the 19th century. Her great great great grandfather, James Laidlaw, used to take his son to Castle Rock in Edinburgh and tell him on a clear day they could see America. She follows the family in its path from Scotland to Illinois to Ontario, telling of family stories and myths that accompanied them. The second half of the stories reflects Alice Munro's perceptions as a child growing up in Ontario. Alice Munro has collected accolades for her short story collections over the years and The View from Castle Rock has received mostly positive reviews. The London Times says, "Through all this we feel Munro rediscovering her life in a way that makes her vulnerable, and her genius as a writer is in making us feel vulnerable too. We close the book with no doubt that she made the right choice."