The Box Garden

Publisher: Vintage Canada
Until events run wildly out of hand, Charleen Forrest manages to cope with the uncertainties of a failed marriage, trying to live her own life and raise a son on her frugal income. She is not unaware of the hazards: "family, banktellers, ex-husband, landladies, bus drivers... men on the make who want her to lie back and accept (this is what you need, baby), friends who feel sorry for her." Her resourcefulness is a delight; her uncanny observations and surprising irony reveal a witty, wry edge that is apt to make you laugh out loud.


1. Carol Shields spoke of becoming a writer because there weren’t enough books that examined women’s friendships and women’s inner lives — or, as she put it, “the kind of book I wanted to read but couldn’t find.” In what ways does Shields’s fiction bring the lives of women...

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"Her sentences and subjects swerve in a matter of words from the poetic to the colloquial, uniting the dazzling and the ordinary, the domestic and the cosmic."
Joan Barfoot, London Free Press

"A shrewd and skillful storyteller."
Chicago Tribune

"Carol Shields is a name to set beside Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro."
—Anita Brookner