These are the final sentences in Alice Munro’s collection of short stories, Dear Life, which won the Nobel Prize. I believe that the character is lying and that she wishes she could forgive herself. I’m sure that other readers have come to different conclusions. These stories are complex, with characters who have selective memories and who say things that are only partly true. Munro doesn’t explain anything. Readers have to fill in the blanks, and it can be a challenge to make sense of it. I happen to love a good workout and find reading these haunting stories rewarding.
Alice Munro, Dear Life (New York: Vintage Books, a Division of Random House, Inc., 2013), 319.