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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Stone Diaries

By Carol Shields

Beautifully nuanced bittersweet life.

Winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize, The Stone Diaries, burrows so deeply from Daisy’s thoughts that we feel her ennui, her self-doubt and separation as though she is not truly living her life but observing it like an outsider.

Beginning with her birth and ending with a lengthy old age and death, we walk in Daisy’s shoes, but, more than that, feel for her. With a mother who dies from birthing her to being raised away from her father, she has a resignation about life that’s so on point, the reader routes for her. Here’s an example: “She knows memory gets smoothed down with time, everything flattened by the iron of acceptance and rejection—it comes to the same thing, she thinks.” How can someone who observes life so clearly, not be able to fall into it more?

This novel is an amazing, beautifully written, bittersweet story.

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