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The Stone Diaries (Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions) Paperback – 30 Sep 2008


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--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Later Printing edition (30 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143105507
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143105503
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 2.2 x 21.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 710,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

This fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett, captured in Daisy's vivacious yet reflective voice, has been winning over readers since its publication in 1995, when it won the Pulitzer Prize. After a youth marked by sudden death and loss, Daisy escapes into conventionality as a middle-class wife and mother. Years later she becomes a successful gardening columnist and experiences the kind of awakening that thousands of her contemporaries in mid-century yearned for but missed in alcoholism, marital infidelity and bridge clubs. The events of Daisy's life, however, are less compelling than her rich, vividly described inner life-- from her memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death. Shields' sensuous prose and her deft characterizations have made this, her sixth novel, her most successful yet. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

‘I can think of few novels containing so much that is resonant and unforgettable, or that invite the reader to participate so fully and rewardingly. “The Stone Diaries” is a triumphant and important book and deserves a wide audience.’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Rapturous, sensitive and funny.’ Guardian

‘Carol Shields is an exceptionally sympathetic and involving novelist.’ Independent on Sunday

‘It is wonderful. A treat.’ Joanna Trollope

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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MY MOTHER'S NAME WAS MERCY STONE GOODWILL. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 15 Nov. 2001
Format: Paperback
... by my all-time favourite author. Carol Shields has a delicious way with words; her phrases are lush and the cadence of her writing is impecable. She, like Alice Munro, has a marvelous openness to everyday details, and she is able to highlight the smallest object or action and give it enormous meaning.
As a Canadian myself, I recognize the landscape (social and otherwise) painted here perhaps better than someone 'from away' might, but the book as a whole is a wonderful access point to understanding the inner workings of our culture. Daisy could, at times, be me; at other times she is my mother; and at others, my grandmother. She is also any number of other women that I know...
Reading clubs can have enormous fun playing with Shields' various modes of writing (try writing your own or your mother's story in one or more of these modes!). I would also recommend reading Shields' Larry's Party as a companion novel, as the two work complement each other spectacularly. As well, anyone who can should try to read Shields' several volumes of poetry, which are older and hard to find, but still well worth the effort.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Jan. 2000
Format: Paperback
Carol Shields is one of those writers that you will hate your friends for not telling you about, if you haven't already found her.
She writes about people, with great depth and sympathy. Her characters are ordinary people, with the extraordinary lives that all of us have, at least when viewed from the inside. The novel has a number of devices to pull you into the heads of the characters, which I found very effective, but some might find distracting. Lovely language. I picked up Larry's Party on a whim, and I've been reading my way through all of her books since.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 July 2000
Format: Paperback
There are some passages in this novel that really left me choked. Barker's last letter to Daisy, Cuyler's love for Mercy...overall, the best thing about this novel is the simplicity and spareness with the story is told - and such a simple tale, really. We are left to make up our own minds about a lot of things, and whether we are to like the characters or not, which adds to the overall experience of the novel. A wonderful book.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
If one were to rate this book for its imaginative usages of stone-based imagery, metaphors, similes, and geography, this book would be clearly a five-star effort. If a reader is looking for an imaginative variety of writing styles all in one book, this is also a five-star effort, using wonderfully easy phrases. On the other hand, if you want to feel deeply connected to a story and its characters, this may not the book for you.
The book's format is a pseudo-biography of a Canadian woman told through a series of vignettes about her life. These start with her birth in 1905, continue with her childhood in 1916, describe her first marriage in 1927, falling in love at 31 in 1936, raising her children in 1947, pursuing a career as a gardening columnist from 1955-1964, experiencing a set-back in 1965, living into retirement in 1977, having health reversals in 1985, and eventually passing on. The book comes equipped with a family tree and family photographs to complete the biographical feel.
You can think of this book also like a series of short stories. In fact, many will enjoy the book more that way than as a fictionalized biography. For example, the birth is very compelling. The section about her writing career is quite amusing and fun to read as you follow through a series of letters.
As much as I loved the stone references, to me they turned the book into self-satire so much at times that it created too much emotional distance from the book. If the references had been cut back by about 60 percent, I think they would have been brilliant. As it was, I was looking for one such reference on every page (almost like Where's Waldo?) and would break out into giggles when I found the next one even if the material was supposed to be sad.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 May 2004
Format: Paperback
If one were to rate this book for its imaginative usages of stone-based imagery, metaphors, similes, and geography, this book would be clearly a five-star effort. If a reader is looking for an imaginative variety of writing styles all in one book, this is also a five-star effort, using wonderfully easy phrases. On the other hand, if you want to feel deeply connected to a story and its characters, this may not the book for you.
The book's format is a pseudo-biography of a Canadian woman told through a series of vignettes about her life. These start with her birth in 1905, continue with her childhood in 1916, describe her first marriage in 1927, falling in love at 31 in 1936, raising her children in 1947, pursuing a career as a gardening columnist from 1955-1964, experiencing a set-back in 1965, living into retirement in 1977, having health reversals in 1985, and eventually passing on. The book comes equipped with a family tree and family photographs to complete the biographical feel.
You can think of this book also like a series of short stories. In fact, many will enjoy the book more that way than as a fictionalized biography. For example, the birth is very compelling. The section about her writing career is quite amusing and fun to read as you follow through a series of letters.
As much as I loved the stone references, to me they turned the book into self-satire so much at times that it created too much emotional distance from the book. If the references had been cut back by about 60 percent, I think they would have been brilliant. As it was, I was looking for one such reference on every page (almost like Where's Waldo?) and would break out into giggles when I found the next one even if the material was supposed to be sad.
Read more ›
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