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The Stone Diaries Paperback – Sep 16 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Canada (Sept. 16 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307357287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307357281
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 431 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #97,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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

Canadian writer Shields's novels and short stories ( Swann ; The Republic of Love , etc.) are intensely imagined, humanely generous, beautifully sustained and impeccably detailed. Despite rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic, she has yet to achieve an audience here; one hopes this latest effort, shortlisted for the Booker Prize, will be her breakthrough. It is at once a playful sendup of the art of biography and a serious exploration of the essential mystery of human lives; the gist of this many-faceted story is that all biographies are only versions of the facts. Shields follows her heroine, Daisy Goodwill Hoad Flett, from her birth--and her mother's death--on the kitchen floor of a stonemason's cottage in a small quarry town in Manitoba through childhood in Winnipeg, adolescence and young womanhood in Bloomington, Ind. (another quarry town), two marriages, motherhood, widowhood, a brief, exhilarating career in Ottawa--and eventually to old age and death in Florida. Stone is the unifying image here: it affects the geography of Daisy's life, and ultimately her vision of herself. Wittily, ironically, touchingly, Shields gives us Daisy's version of her life and contrasting interpretations of events from her friends, children and extended family. (She even provides ostensible photographs of Daisy's family and friends.) Shields's prose is succint, clear and graceful, and she is wizardly with description, summarizing appearance, disposition and inner lives with elegant imagery. Secondary characters are equally compelling, especially Daisy's obese, phlegmatic mother; her meek, obsessive father, who transforms himself into an overbearing executive; her adoptive mother, her stubborn father-in-law. Readers who discover Shields with this book can also pick up a simultaneously published paperback version of an early first novel, Happenstance . Author tour.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on July 28 2004
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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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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Format: Paperback
This book was a gift from one of my grown children but I finally read it recently through my book club. It was riveting from the outset. While it was difficult at times to imagine the hardships endured, the story itself was compelling. Carol Shields is truly a talented author who is completely deserving of the awards won.
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