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The Stone Diaries (1993)

af Carol Shields

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MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingSamtaler / Omtaler
5,7621211,712 (3.76)1 / 511
From her birth in rural Manitoba, to her journey with her father to southern Indiana, to her years as a wife, mother, and widow, to her old age, Daisy Stone Goodwill struggles to find a place for herself in her own life.
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Engelsk (115)  Hollandsk (3)  Hebræisk (1)  Alle sprog (119)
Viser 1-5 af 119 (næste | vis alle)
I was disappointed in this book. To narrow it down I think the plot was too diffuse, it roamed around too much and never really settled on anything substantial. ( )
  charlie68 | Feb 24, 2024 |
I found The Stone Diaries to be both highly interesting and thoroughly readable. This is a biography of a fictional woman, from her moment of birth in 1905 through to her death in the 1990s. Daisy Goodwill Hoad Flett lived a seemingly simple life yet this novel captures not only her and her family but also paints a vivid picture of life in 20th century North America. The author also includes a detailed family tree and a selection of black and white photographs that brings the whole book to the edge of reality.

The book is divided into chapters, each one entitled after an event or episode of Daisy’s life, hence we have “Birth, 1905”, “Marriage, 1927”, “Motherhood, 1947”, and as her life plays out over the pages, we absorb both her story and that of her family. Included are obituaries, recipes and shopping lists all of which open her life for the reader to explore.

The Stone Diaries is an inventive and original look at a person’s life and although Daisy was always surrounded by family and friends, it is obvious that her journey, as indeed all of our journeys, is internally a solitary one. And while the author acknowledges loneliness, she also allows for grace, candour, and dignity. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jul 18, 2023 |
The Publisher Says: The Stone Diaries is one ordinary woman's story of her journey through life. Born in 1905, Daisy Stone Goodwill drifts through the roles of child, wife, widow, and mother, and finally into her old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography. Her life is vivid with incident, and yet she feels a sense of powerlessness. She listens, she observes, and through sheer force of imagination she becomes a witness of her own life: her birth, her death, and the troubling missed connections she discovers between. Daisy's struggle to find a place for herself in her own life is a paradigm of the unsettled decades of our era.

A witty and compassionate anatomist of the human heart, Carol Shields has made distinctively her own that place where the domestic collides with the elemental. With irony and humor she weaves the strands of The Stone Diaries together in this, her richest and most poignant novel to date.

My Review: Read thirty (!) years ago, still fresh in my heart if not my mind. This quote from my commonplace book sums up the appeal, and the limitations, of the work for me:
It has never been easy for me to understand the obliteration of time, to accept, as others seem to do, the swelling and corresponding shrinkage of seasons or the conscious acceptance that one year has ended and another begun. There is something here that speaks of our essential helplessness and how the greater substance of our lives is bound up with waste and opacity... How can so much time hold so little, how can it be taken from us? Months, weeks, days, hours misplaced—and the most precious time of life, too, when our bodies are at their greatest strength, and open, as they never will be again, to the onslaught of sensation.

"Limitation" as used in reference to this book is simply recognition that it's very much a read for older folk and/or those whose lives have been marked by grief and loss on scales beyond the ordinary. Inside those limits, Daisy is a good companion and a deft storyteller with permaybehaps a bit less than universal appeal. Her acceptance of things can feel passive, as though she's willingly playing the victim in her own narrative. Ultimately, after three more decades of my own lfe have elapsed, I now see this as her strength, her water-like incompressibility, expressing itself.

A very good read indeed. Recommended most particularly to men who are married to women. ( )
  richardderus | Jul 9, 2023 |
Meet Daisy Goodwill, the daughter of a woman who (arguably) died without knowing she was a mother. Daisy may as well have been carved from stone. She is, after all, the daughter of a stonecutter, and eventually she is the wife of two men (not at the same time) and mother of three children. After her singular birth, Daisy leads an outwardly unremarkable life.

I read the book years ago, but the only passage of this Pulitzer Prize winning novel I recognize upon re-reading is the statement that Canada is very hot in summer. I was taken aback when I found a series of photos halfway through the book, all with captions identifying them as Daisy’s family members. I don’t remember seeing them the first time around. Wait, I thought – is this a true story?

It’s not, and the photo pretense is one of the boldest literary devices I’ve seen in fiction. Consider that the narrator is Daisy herself and that she speaks in both first and third person, and consider that third-person Daisy narrates her own death (no spoilers there; you’ll know that as soon as you look at the chapter titles), and you will recognize that this is not your ordinary life story.

Most of the book takes place in Canada, starting around 1905. The “stone” motif is strong through about the first third of the book, is submerged in the story of Daisy’s work and home life, and then shows up again toward the end – a subtle, but pleasant surprise. Daisy has origins in stone, and in the end she returns to stone.

I’m glad I picked this book up to re-read. I’m still struggling to make sense of how first-person Daisy can impose herself into a third-person narrative – even using the two different voices in the same sentence at one point toward the end of the story. I’ll be thinking about this for a while.

This short novel is character-driven, which leads to some introspective passages that are a little tedious, so I rated my experience of The Stone Diaries at 4.5 stars. If you enjoyed reading or watching Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town, or Helen Hooven Santmyer’s novel And Ladies of the Club, you will appreciate this book. ( )
  CatherineB61 | May 31, 2023 |
This was my second time reading this novel, the first being many years ago when I was much younger. Daisy Goodwill's life is ordinary, although her birth, told in lots of detail is extraordinary. Daisy did not have a go at, 'oil painting, skiing, sailing, nude bathing, emerald jewelry, cigarettes, oral sex, pierced ears, Swedish clogs, water beds, science fiction, prnographic movies, religious ecstasy, truffles, Kirsch, jalepeno peppers, Peking duck, Vienna, Moscow, Madrid, group therapy, body massage, hunger ... never drove a car, never bought a lottery ticket ...' and so on. There are lots of reviews of this novel and it is wonderful. My only gripe was the description of the nights in Orkney in June as being long and dark! The nights in Orkney in June are short and light. But this just demonstrates how human Carol Shields is. ( )
  CarolKub | Apr 30, 2023 |
Viser 1-5 af 119 (næste | vis alle)
The Stone Diaries is a kaleidoscopic novel, brilliantly and intricately told by way of straight narrative, alternating points of view, letters, newspaper reports.
tilføjet af KayCliff | RedigerLife in the Garden, Penelope Lively (Nov 10, 2021)
 
There is little in the way of conventional plot here, but its absence does nothing to diminish the narrative compulsion of this novel. Carol Shields has explored the mysteries of life with abandon, taking unusual risks along the way. "The Stone Diaries" reminds us again why literature matters.
tilføjet af kathrynnd | RedigerNew York Times, Jay Parini (Mar 27, 1994)
 

» Tilføj andre forfattere (36 mulige)

Forfatter navnRolleHvilken slags forfatterVærk?Status
Shields, Carolprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Belenson, GailOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Gossije, MarianneOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Längsfeld, MargareteOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Lively, PenelopeIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
Smith, Mary AnnOmslagsfotograf/tegner/...medforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Originaltitel
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Vigtige begivenheder
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Indskrift
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nothing she did
or said

was quite 
what she meant
 
but still her life 
could be called a monument
 
shaped in a slant 
of available light
 
and set to the movement 
of possible music


(From "The Grandmother Cycle" by Judith Downing, Converse Quarterly, Autumn)
Tilegnelse
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For my sister
Babs
Første ord
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My mother's name was Mercy Stone Goodwill.
Citater
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It is frightening, and also exhilarating, her ability to deceive those around her...
She was, you might say, a woman who recognized the value of half a loaf.
These last ten years had been a period of disintegration; he saw that now. He had imagined himself to be a man intent on making something, while all the while he was participating in a destructive and sorrowful narrowing of his energy.
Moving right along, and along, and along. The way she's done all her life. Numbly. Without thinking.
That life “thus far” has meant accepting the doses of disabling information that have come her way, every drop, and stirring them with the spoon of her longing – she's done this for so many years it's become second nature.
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From her birth in rural Manitoba, to her journey with her father to southern Indiana, to her years as a wife, mother, and widow, to her old age, Daisy Stone Goodwill struggles to find a place for herself in her own life.

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