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The Stone Angel Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1 1988


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: New Canadian Library; 1 edition (Oct. 1 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771099894
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771099892
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.8 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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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

Review

“One of the most convincing – and the most touching – portraits of an unregenerate sinner.”
Time


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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Gladys Laurence (no relation to Margie) on April 19 2002
Format: Paperback
Though I'm not Canadian, I too feel great shame for those Canadians who dislike Margaret Laurence and have no apparent literary taste. However, I find this book to be absolutely stupendous and absorbing. I have read it 4 times, and it only seems to get better with each read. I am not just saying this.
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.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ana Tirolese on Jan. 15 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read The Stone Angel was in high school as part of the reading curriculum. Despite my English teacher's best efforts to ruin the book for us, I managed to enjoy it. I was surprised that a book with adult content (mild) had survived the censor's cut, but I was pleased it did.

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.
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By "andrew2020" on Sept. 30 2000
Format: Paperback
I just finish The Stone Angel, and I think that this book is very good. It touches universal themes of life. It focuses on the problem that everyone encounter or can related to. For exmaple, Hagar cherished one of her son more than the other, eventhough the son that she abandants is the one that actually care about her. And in the age of 90 she still can not see the irony of this. I guess we can't appreciate things until they are lost.
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.
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By A Customer on April 20 2000
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very depressing and I wish I hadn't read it. I heard about the book when I was taking a continuing education class on Canadian literature, but it wasn't part of our assigned reading. Since the teacher recommended the book so highly, I picked up a copy in a used book store when I saw it there some years later. So unlike some of the other reviewers, I did not have to read the novel for any class. Laurence uses the Proustian device of interweaving past and present reality, which makes the tale more interesting. The main character, Hagar Shipley, is 90 years old when the book opens, and she reflects back on her girlhood and marriage in a small town in Canada. It seems that someone dies on every page during the first few pages of the book. The story picks up later, but there is still enough tragedy and misery to sustain the downbeat mood. I can't say that the book was boring, because Laurence was able to maintain the tempo throughout without having the story drag. The author was not yet 40 when the book was published, so it's pretty remarkable how she was able to get inside the head of the old woman. If you're seeking a cheery, lighthearted tale, look elsewhere.
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By Crystal on April 9 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was made to read this book in high school as well, having said that, I loved it. Still do. In fact it inspired me to read more of Laurence's work. I have read EVERY Margaret Laurence book I could get my hands on. I was inspired to read all of her books because of the brilliant character developement she showed in the creation of Hagar. I mean I have never had such strong feelings about a fictional character in my life... Sometimes I was filled with sadness and pity, sometimes I laughed out loud, and sometimes, I just wanted to shake some sense into her! (None of Laurence's other characters brought out so much emotion in me.) In my mind that is what makes a book worth reading. I've made other people read this book too. They have all enjoyed it.
Perhaps if you are looking for something "fluffy" or light to read you would be disapointed and maybe it is hard for a teenager to enjoy a book about a 90 year old... but I loved it!
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