The Stone Angel Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1988
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The first of Margaret Laurence's compelling series of novels set in Manawaka, the fictional Scots-Irish community that Laurence created based on her childhood home of Neepawa, Manitoba, is also one of her most enduring. The Stone Angel is the story of Hagar Shipley. Cantankerous, cranky and often befuddled at 90, Hagar isn't ready to give up her independence and go into an old-age home. But she is trapped in a body that is betraying her bit by bit and a mind that overwhelms her with passionate, painful memories.
In this intimate accounting of her life, she recalls her privileged life as the daughter of Manawaka's only merchant, the rebellious spirit that led her to a miserable life as a farm wife, and the devastating death of her favourite child. When her son threatens to put her into a home, she takes matters into her own hands and seeks refuge in an abandoned canning factory. Hagar might be an irascible, vicious, and even vulgar old woman, but her feisty resilience makes her one of the most remarkable and appealing characters in Canadian literature. Laurence's first Manawaka novel, with its unforgettable portrait of old age, brilliantly sets the scene for the next books in the series. --Jeffrey Canton
“One of the most convincing – and the most touching – portraits of an unregenerate sinner.”
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Never has there been a more realistic and likeable character than Mrs. Hagar Shipley, someone everyone should be more like. Her unabashed honesty is truly heartwarming. If this is not a feel-good story, then I simply don't know what is!! This is the feel-good book of the year.... This is no overstatement.
Yes. It is sad that people die. But if people did so with as much dignity as Hagar, the world would be a better place. And, no, I am not just saying that, again.
Why hasn't this fine novel---this vanguard story--been adapted into movie form? I see the unflappable Glenn Close playing Hagar--with courage and grace. She's divine.
Those who did not like the book likely did not understand its messages. Uninformed readers are the worst.
The course I followed is that of a well-bred lady marrying a crass widower; angering her Dad. She is no shrinking violet, trapped or bossed around. We enjoy <i>‘Hagar Currie Shipley’s’</i> gumption; keeping a situation calm, or snapping back. In the early 1900s, here is a woman not steered by wagging tongues. For several chapters a compelling heroine, exquisite literary mettle, and Manitoba nature drive interest. <i>‘Manawaka’</i> is code for <i>‘Neepawa’</i>, my fiancé’s hometown and we laughed together at <i>‘Galloping Mountain’</i>. It obviously doubled for <i>‘Riding Mountain’</i>! A shift occurred by the time <i>Hagar</i> takes her youngest son to a city. Not only do the memoirs reach their peak. The page time of the elderly storyteller outweighs it. The 95 year-old version of our narrator is undeniably riveting.
As present day <i>Hagar</i> dominates, sympathy skyrockets. We are outraged her daughter-in-law <i>‘Doris’</i>, misreads <i>Hagar’s</i> competency so flimsily. We become champions against underestimating the elderly. Then an astonishing, fast-paced adventure takes place, that rises to a fever pitch!Read more ›
The Stone Angel also touches on the issue of understanding our parents. When Hagar was younger she rebeliuosly marry Bram, even though her father disapprove of it. She did not understand why then, why would her father prevent her from finding her happiness. But years later when her own son, John, want to marry a young girl that Hagar disapprove of. Only then she understand the worries of her father.
And for those who think a male high school student, or High school students in general cannot understand this book, you are so wrong in so many way.
I recommend this bood for all that want to seek answers or comfort in the journey of life.
A year ago I decided to reread the book and found it was even better than I my memory served me. Now that I have some life experience under my belt, I discovered the book to be far more moving and poignant. Margaret Lawrence brings out a true to life character in Hagar, the book's protagonist. Hagar could be your mother, your aunt, or your grandmother.
This is a beautiful, touching, compelling, and powerful book. Hagar's struggle with her own painful life memories as she tries to protect her independence and maintain her pride is quite heartrending. I found myself glued to page after page in this story.
The Stone Angel is the first book of the five-volume Manawaka series. Each book in the series stands alone quite well and is enjoyable on its own. I don't believe Lawrence had intended a series when she first wrote The Stone Angel, however, the books were there to be written, and write them she did.
Most recent customer reviews
I read this book when I was in high-school and I loved it. I loved it even more after 50. Margaret Laurence has a way of portraying difficult emotions and circumstances and... Read morePublished 29 days ago by Amazon Customer
This was a rather old edition that i received, virtually no writing in it. The story it's self is alright.Published 12 months ago by Krys C
I read this piece of beautiful canadiana literature when I was in high school. The story is even more poignant for me now considering the fact I have aged significantly. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Rio
Had to read it for a credit in school and found it boring? Maybe such readers cannot grasp anything that is not melodramatic. It is an astonishing book in so many ways. Read morePublished on Feb. 3 2013 by poprich
I was looking for an unabridged version, this is definitely not it!!!! This is a CBC radio version. For an English class it was not very useful.Published on June 26 2012 by Erin
This is a powerful story. I read it in my early 20s and it helped me to comprehend the complexity of human relationships.Published on Jan. 11 2012 by David Sabine
I received The Stone Angel quite fast, with the product exactly as described. I would buy again without any doubt from this seller.Published on Nov. 12 2011 by Annie
Here is a book that I probably wouldn't have picked by choice. I read it for a university course and fell in love with it. It is a definite page turner! Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2011 by Christine Lemieux