about the "forces that work on us, both those that are in our control and those that are not." She set out to examine those forces and explore how human beings transcend their petty selves in moments of great suffering. In narrating the Keanes' struggles to overcome loss and disappointment, she suggests that transcendence is achieved by understanding that whatever time we have is only a pinpoint in an eternal expanse. What, then, should we make of our personal pinpoint, since it's the only life we have? McDermott hints at her answer. In the last scene of the book, the old priest, while he's preparing for yet another wedding, casually asks the pianist where he got his talent and then answers his own question by saying, "It's a gift, then." The same might be said about After This. (PS) the view From Castle rock by Alice Munro Knopf, 2006, 368 pp., $25.95 There is a certain story in The View From Castle Rock; in it is a book, the name of which is not revealed until the story's end. In order to fully comprehend the story, one must be familiar with the book and its date of publication
The Missouri Review – University of Missouri
Published: Mar 6, 2006
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