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The Stone Diaries [Paperback]

Carol Shields , Penelope Lively
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.00
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Book Description

Sept. 16 2008
The Stone Diaries is the story of one woman's life; a truly sensuous novel that reflects and illuminates the unsettled decades of our century.

Born in 1905, Daisy Goodwill drifts through the chapters of childhood, marriage, widowhood, remarriage, motherhood and old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her own role, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her own story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography.

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Product Description

From Amazon

The Stone Diaries was a prizewinner among prizewinners for Canadian novelist Carol Shields, garnering her the Governor General's Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Pulitzer Prize. In this fictional autobiography of eightysomething Daisy Goodwill, Shields includes a variety of other documents and perspectives--letters that Daisy received over the years, a list of her bridal trousseau, an occasional reminiscence by a son, daughter, or family friend, an objective third-person description of a house, and a wonderful collection of photos that supposedly come from the Goodwill family--which give us the sense that this is more than just fiction. Here we have a rare glimpse into the nooks and crannies of an ordinary life as we watch Daisy cope with love, marriage, children, gardening, old age, and death. The book serves as a diary of the last century as well, ripe with details that make readers feel they're witnessing the passage of time. Shields renders with loving care, genuine affection, and acute insight the world Daisy Goodwill makes her own. The Stone Diaries lingers in the memory, an extraordinary achievement by an extraordinary writer. --Jeffrey Canton --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Any performer has her work cut out for her when a novel takes place in several settings with inhabitants possessing distinctive regional accents. Shield's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel takes the listener from the plains of central Canada to Bloomington, Ind., and the Orkney Islands. Botsford is an excellent performer with a smooth and easy-to-listen-to reading voice, but she doesn't have a gift for imitating linguistic variations. The women of Daisy's Bloomington circle have Southern lilts worthy of Gone with the Wind. Readers would expect the voices of this coterie to age as Daisy does, but no accommodation is made for this possibility. Within each locale the voices are quite distinct, though the voice of Daisy, the center of the novel, stands out least of all, appropriately enough, for in this work we see her life through the eyes of others. This is an important and deft novel and it's about time that it was recorded, even in this overly abridged version. Shields's writing still makes this worth a listen.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourites April 3 2003
By Melanie
Format:School & Library Binding
This book a masterpiece, as it is successful on every level. On an emotional level, the character of Daisy Goodwill is so real and easy for readers to relate to that you will find yourself wishing you could meet her. Shields' skill as a writer is seen in the way she gives an in-depth look into Daisy's personality and plight, but enough mystery is left that you are left always wanting more. Shields builds on the story gradually, and weaves the historical aspects of the novel to build on the plot. This novel is refreshingly different and no doubt destined to be a classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally! July 28 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
So many times I scan reviews and the newspapers for winners of prizes (Pulitzer, NBA, etc) and then rush to buy whatever has won, only to be extremely disappointed. Finally, someone who deserves to win! Carol Shields is a treasure and her writing deserves more attention than it's gotten so far. This is a fictional autobiography of one Daisy Goodwill, who takes us into her confidences and shows us what life is all about. If you liked Jackson McCrae's THE BARK OF THE DOGWOOD or THREE JUNES, you'll love this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lot's of Gossip but Moments of Great Prose June 4 2007
By Teddy
Format:Audio CD
This is a book about generations of women. It follows the story of Daisy Goodwill for her birth in 1905 to her death sometime in the 1980's. This is true chick lit, at least to me, full of gossip and hear say. It's not normally a book I would like, but I read it with a book club. I found this book a worthwhile read; it had moments of great prose, but got bogged down by the gossip.

I listened to the audio CD, narrated by Sara Botsford. She was the perfect narrator for this book. She has a great range that really brought the characters to life.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pride of being Canadian Oct. 20 2002
By Kelly
Format:Paperback
It is strange how people can come across an author that writes in such an amazing way. I had never really heard of Carol Shields, and then I had to do a project in a class at school on a famous Canadian author, and she is the one that I randomly picked. After the project, I was curious as to what her books were like, and this is the one that I choose.
It is a great book! It tells the life story of the main character, as if she was writing her autobiography. In this book, the author captures exactly what it was like for a woman growing up in todays, and the past, society. It is one of those books that can really show you that no one is perfect, and I am sure that a lot of people can relate to some of the problems that are overcome in this book. I highly recommend it!
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