“Save the Reaper” is one of the most disturbing stories Munro has written. Eve, an actress, is driving in a rural area with her two young grandchildren. In the car, her grandson Philip imagines alien space invaders in other cars, which they then follow. The game is Eve’s; she used to play it with her daughter Sophie. Eve has generally fond memories of her daughter and blames their past estrangement on Sophie’s husband and mother-in-law. However, her idyllic vacation with Sophie and the grandchildren on the shores of Lake Huron is cut short when her daughter secretly phones her husband, asking him to rescue her. Forced to recognize her real relationship with her child, Eve must constantly reassess what she believes to be true.
As Eve tries to recall places of interest to charm her grandson, her faulty memory of a wall decorated with glass mosaics finds her turning off the road onto private property to ask directions from the driver of a pickup truck which is blocking her way. He leads her into a dilapidated farmhouse where four sinister people sit in a littered, windowless room, drinking and playing poker. One man is naked. Eve suddenly realizes that the situation is out of control; she has put the children in real danger, as well as herself, in what is apparently a drug house. Still, she agrees to give a young woman hitchhiker a ride to town, has even given the girl directions to her cabin, where after this night Eve will be alone. She is terrified, with an impending sense of disaster.