Carol Shields: The Stone Diaries



Ng considering all this that she can remember the appropriate phrase amazing and also chilling the persevering strictures f social discourseNever mind it means nothing it s Six-Fingered Stud only Mrs Flett going through the motionsf being Mrs Flett p 314Her daughter Alice comes to her during this final phase when she is turning into stone Knuckles f pearl Already dead Mineralized She reminds herself that what falls into most people s lives becomes a duty they imagine to be good to be faithful to an idea f being good A good daughter A good mother Endlessly heroically patient These enlargements f the self can be terrifying p 326It remains unspoken about whether Alice decides to be in contact with herself than her mother was but she is the ne child who is in a relatively stable marriage and having moved to England in seeming bliss and discovery As Daisy passes from this world Something has ccurred to her something transparently simple something she s always known it seems but never articulated Which is that the moment f death Lizzie! occurs while we re still alive Life marches right up to the wallf that final darkness ne extreme state f being butting against the ther Not even a breath separates them Not even a blink f the eye p 342This was a beautiful book and it is likely that I will seek ut ther books to read from this author even while I tried to live a bit consciously trying to take some I Remember Beirut of the lessons about living and aging that this book tries to teach The Stone Diaries tells the storyf Daisy Goodwill Flett s troubled life beginning and ending with sadness and death There is so much to absorb about the character s in this short novel that I feel the need to read it again and probably will at some point but for now Mercy MercyCuyler Goodwill loved you soWhy did you not share your secret I did like this somber 1995 Pulitzer Prize winner that does actually have a few laughs and ne shocker but was somewhat annoyed each time the storyline came to an abrupt halt at a crucial juncture throughout the telling In the end thankfully most f the missing puzzle pieces do unite and Wow What powerful last words from Daisy view spoilerI AM NOT AT PEACE sure wish Cuyler would have told Daisy how much he loved her mother given her affection and Mercy s engraved 18k wedding ring as he As You Are: Ignite Your Charisma, Reclaim Your Confidence, Unleash Your Masculinity once planned insteadf burying it in the time capsule under the pyramid hide spoiler This book won a Pulitizer Prize in 1995 and it was an honor well deserved I d never even heard Night of Delusions of it I just picked up up at the Goodwill because the descriptionn the back cover intrigued me but An Anteater Named Arthur once I picked it up I couldn t put it downThe story is a fictionalized autobiographyf Brutal Asset one Daisy Goodwill Flett Born around the turnf the 20th century and living until the 1980s Shield s Flett reflects simultaneously Murmur of Rain on herwn tragic life and the life Illustrated Dictionary of Religions of a North American century The mix andverlap between these two subjects is fascinating and Shields writing is first rate making this a pleasure to readThough it is written as if it s an autiobiography The Stone Diaries does not limit itself to subject matter that its protagonist could have known Starting 1066 on the dayf Daisy s birth with her mother Mercy and moving both backward and forward through time the book gives perspectives and experiences Pancakes for Findus of manyf the supporting characters as well including Daisy s father the woman who raises her her husband and her children Though the speaker is sometimes not clearly identified the moves between perspectives are far less confusing than would be expected don t worry it doesn t read like As I Lay Dying O meio galo or anything like that The story is actually told in a way I don t think I ve ever seen before with a mixf Horae Homileticae Commentary Volume 3 of 7 omniscent and present narration and constantly moving time and perspective Shields deserves her award just for being able to pull thatff successfully nevermind the storyBut the story is compelling Daisy s life is hard and full Bed Riddance: A Posy for the Indisposed of tragedy the childbearing deathf her mother twice widowhood etc but the tragedy takes backseat the both Daisy s and the Millionaire Rancher Penniless Cowgirl other characters knack for reinventionf themselves when circumstances change Both as a human story and as a parable for the countries in which the novel takes place the US and Canada these reinventions work very wellI was impressed enough by this book that I passed it Gastrophysics: The New Science of Eating on to my mother and I will ben the lookout for f Carol Shields work I d definitely recommend it I love this book It has been 14 years since I have read it and I still remember clearly what it means to me Life is longand in this long life you lead a series f mini lives In each life you become a different version f you We are blessed with the chance and sometimes forced against ur will to reinvent A Dark Design ourselves again and again untilne day we are very She Moves to Her Own Rhythm: A Guided Exploration (A Color of Woman Coloring Book and Journal) old and find that we are living in Florida wearing polyester pantsuits Did you ever imagine that would be you That person you marry at a ripe young age may become someone from your past that now seems as insignificant as anld high school boyfriend That job we have today that s so important may be a mere blip A Social Experiment in Program Administration: The Housing Allowance Administration Agency Experiment on the radar when we are 85 Will you even remember the namef the company It s something I like to think about And it works both ways Sometimes I hope that the life I m in never ends and my fear is that ne day its time will be up In ther periods Luring Tristan of my life I remember that nothing is forever and this some day may not be remembered by me at all Very few books have given me such a lasting message I plan carry it with me throughout my long lifetime The typef book Mackerel at Midnight: Growing Up Jewish on a Remote Scottish Island others rigorously want to imitate That is the elusive turnf the century All American novel with myriad glimpses at gorgeous post millennial metafiction The Stone Diaries no doubt inspired ther works f immeasurable brilliance like T C Boyle s World s End and Coetzee s Elizabeth Costello it is heartbreaking endearing and best f all uite accessible Although the Puig like tricks that is Latin American lit concessions are uite distinguishable The symbols f marble and hard rock as counter contrasts to flimsy flowers and biology are made eternal in this must read novel It s a true reminder Three for Halloween of the pesky butverpowering relationship between life and death How to Draw Spacecraft or the ethereal and the tangible Thisne deeply astonishes I didn t like this book but it was mostly because I didn t like the main character and her lack The Scalpel, the Sword: The Story of Dr. Norman Bethune of personal substance She never ever evennce feels any joy passion Underhanded Backgammon: A Devious Guide To The Art Of Backhanded Backgammon or grief There isne period in her life where she appears to experience depression but again there is a lack Part-Time Perverts: Sex, Pop Culture, and Kink Management of strong emotion which really is typicalf depression A person who has three children marries twice and is widowed twice usually experiences some sort The Education of Chauncey Doolittle (Clay Bank County) of deep emotion This flaw in her personality had me lacking empathy with her It seems the author s basic premise is that the main character Daisy lacks strong emotion because she was not raised by her biological mother who was herself anrphan and that these things have some how caused both her and her mother to be inherently flawed Either that Xavier Doolittle: Christian End Times Short Story or Daisy has physically inherited this dysfunction from her mother but I lean toward the former becausef some passages in the story They lack passion and passionate expression Daisy never hears she is loved nor do you find love expressed by her her mother Mercy never said she loved nor therwise expressed love although she was loved greatly and with deep passion by Daisy s father What I did like most was the author s use f symbolism Stones and flowers are heavily used perhaps verly so at times There is the building f monuments by Dais. Er story within a novel that is itself about the limitations How to Draw Clifford (Clifford the Big Red Dog) (Clifford) of autobiographyHer life is vivid with incident and yet she feels a sensef powerlessness She listens she A False Proposal observes and through sheer forcef imagination she becomes a witness f her wn life her birth her death and the troubling misconnections she discovers between Daisy’s struggle to find a plac.

My next read going backwards through the Pulitzer winners is The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields This book also won Canada s top book award the name year and was a National Book Award finalist as well All these awards and praise were well merited as this is a well written and compelling story about a woman s life from birth to death Daisy Goodwill is born at the turn Doula Programs of the century to a mother who passes away while giving birth and a father who is an accomplished stonemason in rural Canada The themesf lifedeath and the metaphor f stone percolate through the entire book starting with the title The Stone Diaries We hear Daisy writing her journal with decade breaks between the chapters mostly in the 3rd person and we get a sense throughout f her feeling A Primate's Memoir of dislocation in herwn life Her beginning was also her mother s ending this event underscores the lifedeath motif and distorts her concept Nazca: Journey to the Sun of timeIt has never been easy for me to understand thebliteration Selected Writings of time to accept asthers seem to do the swelling and corresponding shrinkage Find, Fix, Finish: Inside the Counterterrorism Campaigns That Killed Bin Laden and Devastated Al-Qaeda of seasonr the conscious acceptance that ne year has ended and another begun There is something here that speaks f Nostradamus and the Nazis our essential helplessness and how the greater substancef Nostradamus: The Truth Be Told: A Complete History Of Europe our lives is bound up with waste andpacity Even the sentence parts sieze کاریکلماتور ، کتاب چهارم: همه به ملاقات آینه میرویم on the tongue so that so say Twelve years passed is to deny the factf biographical logic p 27 Baby Daisy is certainly helpless and is taken under the wing f her neighbor Mrs Flett who absconds with the baby to live with Daisy and her son Barker Flett in Ottowa Daisy will not see her father again until the death f her aunt some eleven years later In fact each Rosa, Sola of the chapters is about a periodf her life Birth ChildhoodDeath and focuses with many meandering diversions f course n How to Develop a Magnetic Personality: Discover How to Improve Your Personality to Become a More Attractive Person (Personality Development Tips) one key defining event Another theme in the book is sex and how various characters experience it Her mother dies in the coursef giving birth to her marking sex as something with potential danger Her father is similarly distant from everyone but his precious rocks but he has a special and eternal fascination for his dead first wife the gathering The Kraut: On Being German after 1940 of tenderness rising blood a dark downward swirlf ecstasy and then this seems to him particularly precious the miraculous reward Merciless: House of Gravori of shared sleep his beloved beside him her breath dissolving into his A coilf her hair will be loosened Cult on the shared pillow and without waking her he will kiss the tipsf this hair p 36Throughout the narrative again proposed in the form f a diary we also peek into the minds f many people that Daisy knows during her long life after all as she says Life is an endless recruiting 1001 Brilliant Ways to Checkmate of witnesses p 36 Her caretaker in Ottowa Professor Barker Flett isbsessed with flowers rather than stone and so the motifs f pistil stigma style vary stamen anther filament petal sepal receptacle p 42 become a pendant for the motif f stone Stone symbolizing a male permanence and the gravestone flowers representing a effiminate side and evoking lifeSome f the evocative images in the book are the tower that Cuyler Goodwill Daisy s father builds for his dead wife in Canada ut f stones pilferred secretly from his uarry before moving to Indianapolis and the pyramid he starts as a time machine there in Indianapolis and dies building at the end f the book He was a man n the contrary who could easily be sounded A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies out given the spaceHis voice you might say became the place he lived p 85 Despite his gift forratory gleaned from reading the Bible he is never uite able to bridge the gap between himself and his daughter probably Pardon My French Coloring: A Sweary Adult Coloring Book with Cursing in French, Italian, Spanish, and British English owning to the fact that he was eccentric perhaps an artisan naif but not unapproachable not in the leastHis tongue learned to dance then learned to deal with the intricasiesf evasion and drama fiction and distraction p 85 Perhaps it was this same tongue that kissed the tips Falling in Paris (Encounters, of his wife s hair but which still serves as a buffer between himself and hiswn feelingsDaisy inherits this inability to connect to her Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys own feelings marrying by default an alcoholic with who she never consumes the marriage he was always too drunk and who she sneezesut f a window in ne f the novel s dark comic scenes For Daisy love is mostly the avoidance f hurt and futher she is accostumed to Faces of Hachiko: A Novel of Present-day Japan obstacles and how they can bevercome by readjusting her glance r crowding her concerns into a shadowy corner p 147Dasiy does finally find love later ddly with Flett s son who she stayed with in Canada after the death f his mother until she was eleven and had three children Her daughter Alice is the ne closest to her and we get her perspective a bit A Scourge of Vipers often than thether children The birds and bees discussion PathFinder (TodHunter Moon, on pages 165 166 was particularly well written from Alice s perspective Her dream during the boring unsatisfying lovemakingf Barker about the film The Best Years Predator vs. Magnus Robot Fighter of Our Lives What would it be like to be touched by cold bent metal insteadf human fingertips What would it be like to feel the full weight f a man n her body pinning her hard to the world p 192 is also telling I'll Settle for Love of her compromises in love and sex even in middle ageUnable to find a sexualutlet she turns to gardening In turn it perceives nothing f her not her history her name her longings nothing which is why she is able to love it as purely as she does why she has pened her arms to it taking it as it comes every leaf every stem every root and sign p 196After the pre mature death f her husband she takes ver the column he wrote about gardening in the paper and finally has some individual success however short lived Cut short she loses the column due to an affair with the newspaper editor and drifts into a deep depression which her children and friends struggle to help her ut f A few years later she moves to Florida with her remaining friends and lives the rest The Elders Speak: Reflections On Native American Culture And Life of her life at the Bayside Ladies Craft Club in her condo keeping her handsccupied filling and Death of a Polaroid - A Manics Family Album of the world with less and lessf herself p 268 She comes to a sad but true realization No Do What You Love and Other Lies About Success and Happiness one told her so muchf life was spent being ld something I am personally struggling with Everything she encounters feels lacking in weight The hollow interior doors f her condo The molded insubstantiality Tapi of the light switches The dismaying lightnessf her balcony furniture The rattling loose jointed cabs she sometimes takes p 280 Her attachments to earth then remain superficial as she enters her twilight years life thus far has meant accepting the doses Paroles of disabling information that have come her way every drop and stirring them with the spoonf her longing she s done this for so many years it s become second nature p 282This uote was also incredibly apt And it s Harper occurred to her that there are millions billionsf Imperium other men and women in the world who wake up early in their separate beds greedy for the substancef their Norilsk own lives butbliged every day to reinvent themselves p 283 This reinvention for Daisy is a necessary painful thing done without complaint as Sfarade opposed to a new exciting wayf precisely reclaiming Oeuvres one swn life Her pain hidden in her past remains too difficult for her to deal with directly and thus she takes this resigned approach The larger loneliness f ur lives evolves from Soie our unwillingness to spendurselves stir Mmoires ourselves We are always damping downur inner weather permitting Ordesa ourselves the comfortsf postponement Vladivostok of rehearsals p 291After a visit to her grandfather in the Orkleys northf Scotland her downhill slide becomes inevitable She has a massive heartattack and is recovering And her knees her poor smashed knees Amazi. Also see Alternate Cover Editions for this ISBN ACE ACE #1 The Stone Diaries is ne rdinary woman’s story Potique of her journey through life Born in 1905 Daisy Stone Goodwill drifts through the rolesf child wife widow and mother and finally into her Morphine old age Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in herwn life Daisy attempts to find a way to tell

Y s father camilove of course madef stone his life as a uarryman Daisy s gardens her second husband s love and knowlege Lettres of plants namesf characters and much If that sort Phdre of thing excites you you might love this book for that aloneI would also like to say I m surprised so many reviewers found this book funny I thought it was terribly depressing There are a few amusing passages but I couldn t see calling the book as a whole funny And lastly it is strange to me that this is considered a fictional autobiography Mostf the time it is third person narrative granted there are points when Daisy is apparently refering to herself in the third person as Mrs Flett Phdre or some such which I found a bit disturbing I suppose it helps contribute to that feelingf her lack Contes of sensef self the void within her life that she herself doesn t really fill is not capable Mde of filling There arether times it does not feel like her voice just narrative and there is just a small portion Gorgiques of the book that is in first person It does not feel at all like a diary which again may be for the effectf distancing the main character from herself Someone with this personality disorder might write a memoir in this manner and call it a diary I suppose And it does cover Daisy s life from beginning to endThe novel s well written and I think the author achieved what she set Liol out to do Overall just not my cupf tea Finishing this book I thought What a gloomy novel what a futile life Shields wrote a sort Joker of biographyf Daisy Goodwill from her remarkable birth up to her last fading moment Iphignie of life in 10 chapters each with an intervalf about 10 years But it s not a linear story sometimes we hear Daisy speak sometimes an unknown narrator at Ravage other times immediate family and friends whether through lettersr Enfance otherwise This very variegated approach creates a dynamic and exposes the contradictions and differences between how we seeurselves how Germinal others see us how through life experiences we change the way we look aturselves and Nord others Daisy is the link between all the characters but Shields freuently zooms inn Epp others and by doing so she exposes the profound changes they made in their lives and how they interacted withne anotherTwo insights prevail 1 How in Cris our lifetime we are sometimes forced to radically re inventurselves to give Hilda our lives a different direction and most people can manage this 2 every life is basically a lifef its Hippie own and in that sense really lonely in each chapter the word loneliness appears as a pivotal characteristicf life all characters including fathers wives daughters sons live their lives just next to each Papillon other almost exclusively from theirwn egocentric point f viewShields was a remarkable writer 1935 2003 indeed and this book you can ualify as rich in life wisdom In that sense it reminded me much f Penelope Lively who wrote the introduction to this book also with the same special sensitivity to gender issues Personally I think her final chapters are a bit too gloomy and her sketch Rythmes of Daisy as an elder rather shocking But perhaps I m closing my eyes to reality here rating 35 stars A breathtaking and thoroughlyriginal novel I m completely in awe Appia of the choices Shields made in the shapingf this narrative The whole is flawlessly cohesive The parts are poetry unto themselvesEssentially it s a book about loneliness every kind Adolphe of loneliness starved suffocating denied cherished physical existentialr simply the result Caligula of petty misunderstanding And it s not always clear cut She allows for ambiguity She allows for the reader s subjective response whatever that might be And then she gently guides The Stone Diaries is the storyf Flures one woman s life Daisy Goodwill Flett comes into this world in a strange and tragic circumstance The book follows her through her life to the momentf her death You might say she has an Hamlet ordinary life in many ways and perhaps that is partf the point Shields is making that all lives are the same because no matter how different they are from their fellows all lives are lonely isolated journeys Only Brnice one person feelsr knows who you are and that person is youMany meline of Shields characters are consumed with looking backward dwelling in their pasts and trying to unravel the lives they have led but hardly understand They struggle with what it is to relate tothers what it is to love Lettre Laurence or to be loved Is this what love is he wonders this substance that lies so pressingly between them so neutral in color yet so palpable it need never be mentioned Or is love something less something slippery anddorless a transparent gas riding through the world Thogonie on the backf a breeze Andy and His Yellow Frisbee or else and this is what he and believes just a word trying to remember another wordThere is a themef loneliness and isolation that runs through the book a kind Sydney of rancor underlies her existence still the recognition that she belongs to none Even her dreams release potent fumes Blade of Dishonor (Omnibus Edition) of absenceThedd thing about the pictures that fly into Daisy Goodwill s head is that she is always alone There are voices that reach her from a distance there are shadows and suggestions but still she is aloneShe is alone but not uniue among the people she encountersfor they all seem to me to be alone and struggling as well And much f the loneliness n view here is self inflicted as if the fear Moscardino of connection is stronger than the need to touch thethers to be joined Carol Shields makes Shiver one choice in writing this novel that puzzles me that is her decision to have thepening chapter in the first person the following chapter in both first and third person but bviously the same voice and then to tell the rest f the story in the third person until ne fleeting comment that is made first person in the final chapter I know it is a very intentional choice a device that is meant to achieve something major in the structure f this novel but I have failed to comprehend its purpose and that is going to bother me for a while It might just be an attempt to make us realize that even within urselves there is an ther that is separate bserving and virtually unknown to us Perhaps the first person is the soul It is the best explanation I have been able to come up with If anyone else who has read this has a thought I would be very interested in hearing itThe metaphor f the stone having things carved in stone the building Huey piano Smith and the Rocking Pneumonia Blues of monuments the hardeningf the heart and the soul and the impenetrable walls that divides us from ne another runs from the beginning f this novel to its end It winds its way like a river through every major character and recurs in names thoughts and physical manifestations One thing is for sure no need to put RIP You Were Always On My Mind on Daisy s tombstone This is a slow intricate tellingf the life and death Chine : Dans les monts de la lune of Daisy Goodwill Flett The glorious writing is so sensual thick with substance soriginal wise wise and wise that I Lego Crazy Action Contraptions: A Lego Inventions Book (Klutz) often had to stop to contemplater just digest Effortlessly Carol Shields shifts from third person to first jumps subjects stories returns to the present and sometimes even comments Power Revealed on the first person protagonist Daisy and her ability to manipulate the truth And finally she sticks it to any reader who is honest enough to admit herwn arrogance in believing she can understand the motivations and hidden feelings f any dead beloved relative Carol Shields is a writer s writer and per the Pulitzer this book won bviously a reader s writer Without explanation I want to bellow This work makes me feel saneHow sad I am that Shields is dead and can t be my friend How glad I am she left a long legacy Lud-in-the-Mist of books that I can now imbib. E for herself in herwn life is a paradigm Chasing the Dream Anthology of the unsettled decadesf ur eraA witty and compassionate anatomist f the human heart Carol Shields has made distinctively her wn that place where the domestic collides with the elemental With irony and humor she weaves the strands f The Stone Diaries together in this her richest and most poignant novel to date.

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review The Stone Diaries

Arthur Ellis Award in 1988