blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields*

With a new foreword by Margaret Atwood.

Widely regarded as a modern classic, The Stone Diaries is the story of one woman’s life; that of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman born in Canada in 1905. Beautifully written and deeply compassionate, it follows Daisy’s life through marriage, widowhood, motherhood, and old age, as she charts her own path alongside that of an unsettled century.

A subtle but affective portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life, this multi-award-winning story deals with everyday issues of existence with an extraordinary vibrancy and irresistible flair.

Beautifully written and deeply compassionate, it follows Daisy’s life through marriage, widowhood, motherhood, and old age, as she charts her own path alongside that of an unsettled century.

A subtle but affective portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life, this multi-award-winning story deals with everyday issues of existence with an extraordinary vibrancy and irresistible flair.

Carol Shields (19352003) was born in the United States, and emigrated to Canada when she was 22. She is acclaimed for her empathetic and witty, yet penetrating insights into human nature. Her most famous novel

Her most famous novel The Stone Diaries was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, along with the Governor General’s Award, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Happenstance was praised as her tour de force, masterly combining two novels in one. The international bestseller Mary Swann was awarded with the Arthur Ellis Award for best Canadian mystery, while The Republic of Love was chosen as the first runner-up for the Guardian Fiction Prize.

In 2020, the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction, a North American literary award dedicated to writing by women, was set up in her honor.

Her work has been published in over 30 languages.

My thoughts:

I hadn’t heard of Carol Shields before, and from the foreword it seems she’s not hugely well known in the UK.

I found The Stone Diaries really interesting, although I was a little confused as to who the narrative voice was at times – it seems to be Daisy but uses the third person, an interesting stylistic choice.

Charting Daisy’s life from birth to death, from Canada to the US and back again, the writing draws you into the family saga with Daisy at the heart. From daughter to wife to mother to grandmother, Daisy’s passage through life seems both easy and at times very complicated.

Mixing letters, family members’ recollections and Daisy’s own thoughts, this is a thought provoking look at women in the 20th Century, with Daisy as a sort of everywoman.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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