One of Alice Munro’s best-known stories, “The Children Stay Here,” tells of a young mother, Pauline, who leaves her husband on a family vacation. He is a constantly joking teacher, she is a housewife and leading actress in an amateur production of Jean Anouilh’s “Eurydice” in a dusty small town hall. The reason for the split is the director, a young, angry and rather naive creative. She goes away with him, knowing full well that his “I will never leave you” is an empty promise.
Munro tells all of this from the perspective of the woman who, like all the characters on these 40 pages, has her merits and her flaws. When she finally leaves her children, two and five years old, with her husband, she emphasizes the advantages of realistic love – with a view to the play: “He wants a perfect Eurydice. (…) She loves him more because she is not so deluded. She loves him like a person. “