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Love of a Stonemason Paperback – Jul 24 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: Createspace (July 24 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453662286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453662281
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,141,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Born and raised in Switzerland, Christa Polkinhorn has always had the desire to explore the world outside of her beautiful but tiny country. As a young woman, she traveled through Europe, came to the United States on an exchange program, and ended up staying. Her travels led her to China and Japan as well as South America. She studied literature and linguistics in Zurich and California. Now, she lives and works as writer and translator in southern California and divides her time between the United States and her native Switzerland. The tension and excitement this “double life” creates informs her literary work. Most of her novels take place in several countries. Aside from writing and traveling, Christa is an avid reader and a lover of the arts and dark chocolate.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Kindleobsessed Review Sept. 10 2010
By Misty Baker - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was in therapy the other day (aka web-surfing for mindless crap) and ran across a quote that sent off a flare in my mind. For the past couple of days I have been reading Christa Polkinhorn's debut novel "Love of a Stonemason" and try as I might, I couldn't peg a witty or otherwise enchanting way of wording its message, and then I ran into this...

"I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you."

This is exactly what Polkinhorn's novel is all about, the struggle to overcome your demons and let love flood in.

Karla is an artist, but like most magicians with a canvas her talents come at a cost. At the age of 5 Karla lost her mother, and with it went her peace. Andreas is also an artist, but instead of painting he carves tombstones. Both have issues, both are looking for closure, and in a ironic turn of fate (or an inability to look where they are going) they are about to meet, but will their instant connection be enough to keep them together? With depression, and anger waiting in the wings Karla and Andreas are forced to make a decision... face their pasts together, or live their hells alone.

A few days ago I was dreading having to write this review. I was 20% in and bored (which is never a good sign) but luckily my inability to toss a book (regardless of how crappy) kicked in and I pushed through. I'm very glad I didn't give up. While I undoubtedly enjoyed the first few chapters of this novel, my patience began to wear thin when the focus of the novel shifted. What I thought was supposed to be a (in the most basic term) "love story" suddenly turned into a long drawn out battle with daddy issues. Thankfully, Polkinhorn's ability to creatively capture the culture, and beauty of her settings added brief moments of reprieve from (an otherwise) excessively wordy section, and enticed the reader to keep moving. After her stint in Peru however, things very quickly got back on track (well... as on track as you can be for throwing depression, abandonment, resentment and infidelity at a couple) and before I knew it I was sucked back in. The writing quality as a whole was wonderful, and Polkinhorn's ability to "write art" was a nice little treat when it was all said in done. Her characters (though written to have a slew of flaws) were nicely detailed, and allowed the reader to indulge in their complexities.

All in all... not bad for a book I initially disliked.

One word of warning however, if this sounds like the book for you, please set aside the appropriate amount of time to read it. It is not an easy read, and it is long... so take your time and be prepared to learn some hard lessons.

Happy reading my fellow Kindle-ites and remember: If you plan on writing secret love letters to people, don't leave them on the table for everyone to see... that just screams FAIR GAME!

For a complete book description click image
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Artistically and psychologically convincing. Aug. 17 2010
By bandcandy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For me, the best of this book was the artistic journey through Europe and beyond and the author's genuine understanding of what it is to be an artist. In Karla, the painter, we are presented with a flawed but complex character. Andreas,the stonemason, likewise has his own demons to fight; however, I found the book more psychologically interesting because both the main characters are battling with the problems of their own personalities as well as their challenging life-experiences. This is a book for a weekend, a holiday or a winter's evening when you really want something to get your teeth into.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A compelling love story across borders June 5 2010
By Mirjam - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
When the young talented painter, Karla Bocelli, almost gets hit by a speeding car, she receives a painful reminder of that fateful accident in her childhood, which robbed her of her mother and made her a semi-orphan. The fact that the driver of the car is a stonemason and sculptor, who carves tombstones for a living, doesn't exactly lift Karla's spirits. The fateful initial encounter sets the stage for a turbulent and passionate relationship. "Love of a Stonemason" takes the reader on a journey of the heart from Switzerland to Italy and Peru. It is rich with sensuous details and vibrant colors. As we watch Karla and Andreas struggle with their past, their creativity and their feelings for each other, we root for them and hope that they succeed. A heartwarming and fascinating story. I can highly recommend it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love around the world May 6 2010
By Cornboy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Christa Polkinhorn's debut takes the reader on a journey of the heart across several lands. Vivid portraits of Europe and South America will sweep you to those exotic locales and have you experiencing the vibrancy of different cultures. But the heart of the story is the love between a man and woman, with all the challenges and triumphs, successes and failures, as well as the creative journeys of the two main characters. Highly recommended.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, thoroughly engaging book of love, life and the art world Dec 13 2010
By Crystal Fulcher - Published on
Format: Paperback
The first thing that went through my mind when I finished this book on Friday night was simply "Wow". I felt like I had been told a full story and while I wanted more of Karla and Andreas at the end, the story really was complete. I don't know when was the last time I truly felt that when I finished a book. Ms. Polkinhorn did a magnificient job crafting this story and getting it on the page. The characters, scenery and happenings in the book really came alive for me and I felt like I was watching and feeling Karla and Andreas through the full book.

How to classify this book - I first thought it sounded like a romance, but after finishing it, I would say it is more general fiction. Romance is key, Karla and Andreas' relationship is very key to the book. But most romance novels stop after dating and marriage usually, sometimes with glimpses of family life if there are several books in a series. The beauty of Ms. Polkinhorn's novel is that it continues through the years after they marry and delves much deeper into the characters of Karla and Andreas as they tackle the new ups and downs of marriage, of their art and of family.

Love of a Stonemason never lags in plot. Whether you are looking into depression, the ups of a great art career, the separation (distance-wise) of Andreas and Karla, starting a family, all of this flowed together so well and made a great story. I was never bored and wondering when something good would happen. It was all interesting and attention getting. It's as edge-of-your-seat as a non-thriller work can get. I was always wondering what would happen next, what aspect of life would be shown.

The realism is beautiful too. Love of a Stonemason truly shows the ups and downs of life, love and family. No family or person is perfect, there are always problems and always two sides to a story and that is what this book really looks into. I love that every aspect is shown and I really enjoyed the growth of the characters. Andreas and Karla are not superficial, you really get to know them through the whole book. I felt as though I knew them personally. The foreign setting and descriptions of landscapes and cities is also well-done. I also enjoyed learning about the art world, something that never really interested me before, but the author does a great job of making it interesting.

I laughed, I cried, I was frustrated with the characters (in a good way). I think I ran through most every emotion with this book. And what I love most is the feeling of the complete story and it's a story that will stick with me for some time. I found myself thinking of Karla and Andreas and the other people in their lives through the weekend. Really letting the story settle over me and how I feel now is that this is a definite reread in my book and that is saying something since I don't really reread books. My true hope is Ms. Polkinhorn will have another book on the way so I have another one of her books to enjoy. She brings realism to the story without it depressing you and leaving you down for days and I really like that. I do not have any complaints about this book and I think those of you who enjoy general fiction with a foreign-flair and romance will really enjoy this book.

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