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Meet Carol Shields' Unless

Unless by Carol Shields

Listen: In the clip below, Carol Shields' daughter Anne Giardini reads from Chapter 5 of Unless. In this scene Reta recalls the history of the house where she raised her family and speculates about the mother who lived there previously: who she was, what she did and whether she was happy. Rita turns her writer's imagination to dreaming up details about her home's former owners.

Who were these people? Why did they leave the house? And is Reta's family destined to be as happy (or unhappy) as they were?


Read: In the excerpt below, Reta reflects on her career as a writer and her life as a wife and mother. She's proud of the work she's done but is plagued by feeling a lack of accomplishment, despite being an award-winning author who raised three children, has an active social life and a successful marriage. The loss of her daughter only opens up how much Reta hasn't done, experienced or felt.

Read an excerpt from Unless here.

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