Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2009: 'She hated to hear the word `escape` used about fiction. She might have argued, not just playfully, that it was real life that was the escape. But this was too important to argue about.' Taken from a story called 'Free Radicals,' this line may be the best way to think about the lives unfolding in Alice Munro`s Too Much Happiness. Real life assaults her central characters rather brutally-in the forms of murder and madness, death, divorce, and all manner of deceptions-but they respond with a poise and clarity of thought that`s disarming-sometimes, even nonchalant-when you consider their circumstances. Her women move through life, wearing their scars but not so much wearied by them, profoundly intelligent, but also inordinately tender and thoughtful. There`s more fact than fiction to these stories, rich in quiet, precise details that make for a beautiful, bewildering read.