Stones from the River deals with a heroine who is everything a heroine is not. She is a small sized person, a 'dwarf' as it were, not remarkably pretty and not truly bestowed with the milk of human kindness in all spheres like the heroines of romantic stories. Yet for me, she and the book are like a passionate love affair with life, feelings, honesty, brutality, beauty and redemption.
The book traces Trudi's growth from birth, seeing her mother turn crazy, her tribulations and triumphs due to her short stature. Trudi curses, abuses, gossips, has her insecurities, trades off her secrets and yet somehow you cant help admiring the gumption of this pint sized heroine. How she and her father help their Jewish friends during the holocaust, her wanton curiosity in luring men on the basis of false information, her tumultous inner world, her forthrightedness.
There are other players in the saga of Trudis stories...the unknown benefactor who blesses her town with strange gifts, the children of Trudi's youth who live out their own tableus, the lady who dresses her son as a girl, Leo, Trudi's father - truly a character to rival Atticus in To Kill a Mocking Bird. I think women will identify with the emotions that Trudi confesses to..the loss of a man, the strength of appearance, the solidariy of friends, the gain of ones esteem. Truly...a wonderful flowing river with enough beauty, like the stones in the river.