Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

Occasionally, a good friend recommends a book to me which I end up not liking. It often works the other way as well. The Stone Diaries is a favorite book I've pushed on friends who later report that they were bored or just didn't get it. Well, again, it just goes to show that not everybody likes the same things, and that's okay. Canadian author Carol Shields' Pulitzer Prize winning novel is a faux biography of a perfectly ordinary woman, Daisy Goodwill. Told from several perspectives, Daisy's life story is filled with perhaps a little more sadness than the norm, but not much. We see her move from childhood to adulthood and marriage and motherhood. She lives a long time and does all the usual things. Daisy goes through all the phases of life with elegance and resilience. There's nothing particularly striking about her life--and that's seems to be Shields' point. There is beauty and art in the most ordinary of lives. I loved this book--this is one of the ones that made me cry at the end.

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