This spare volume is effectively hypnotic, bringing the reader into the world of the narrator and including him or her in her darknesses and her hesitant acceptances of small happinesses. We wonder what it is that has hurt her, but there is nothing cheap or conveniently resolvable about this book, which deepens its impact and makes it seem that much more real.
The narrator writes of her life in Italy, while remembering her past with an aloof distance. She has what could be rich relationships with a neighborwoman and her family and with an American she meets abroad. But there is a reason she is living away from home (in Ireland), and the light and stone of the title come to embody her memories.
It's a brilliant work and highly recommended.