The Stone Diaries
Born in 1905, Daisy Goodwill drifts through the chapters of childhood, marriage, widowhood, remarriage, motherhood and old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her own role, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her own stor...more
Essentially, it's a book about loneliness, every kind of loneliness: starved, suffocating, denied, cherished, physical, existential, or simply the result of petty misunderstanding. --And it's not always clear cut. She allows for ambiguity. She allows for the reader's subjective response, whatever t...more
Life is long....and in this long life you lead a series of mini-lives. In each "life" you become a different version of you. We are blessed with the chance and sometimes forced against our will to reinvent ourselves again and again until one day we are very old and find that we are living in Florida wearing polyester pantsuits. Did you ever imagine that would be you?
That person you marr...more
So basically this book was uber depressing when...more
The story is a fictionalized autobiography of one Daisy Goodwill Flett. Born around the turn of the 20th century and living until the 1980s, Shield's Flett reflects simultaneously on her own tragic life and the life of a North American century. The mix and...more
A thought comes into her head: that...more
Here is the life of Daisy presented mostly through narration, but buttressed by letters, tombstones, photographs (which occasionally contradict the narrative), words etched into a Victorian plate, a luncheon menu, Aunt Daisy's Lemon Pudding recipe, to-do lists, a list of books read and a sheet with every address Daisy lived.
People are introduced and explained, summed up, classified. I envy anyone able to boil down other people to an understandable core. Still...more
Guess which one was better.
This book is phenomenal. It's probably the best book I've read in the last year. And it's funny to think about because there is no person, or plot twist, or moment that makes it m...more
About a month ago, I decided to reread THE STONE DIARIES. Much of it I'd forgotten, and it was odd to read my occasional pencil-written comments; still, I found that I agreed with my "younger self" in many cases about passages I found meaningful. I highly recommend...more
the author treats her characters in this book a...more
I loved this description: "This last year she has been in danger of becoming an eccentric or else one of those persons who does not bother to put a saucer under her cup."
Unfortunately, I am having a hard time remembering much more of this book. I do remember feeling very very s...more
The first few sections were interest...more
I'm guessing the changes from first person to third person were delibrate and artsy-fartsy, but I found it annoying. I barely got through the first chapter because I was sick and tired of the constant explanations of how the character of Mercy was a large woman. (I get it! She's fat...more
One page (89) really stuck out to me and rang true to my experience:
'The real troubles in this world tend to settle on the misalignment between men and women--that's my opinion, my humble opinion, as I long ago learned to say. But how we do love to brus...more
Daisy Goodwill was born in 1905 and lived until sometime in the 1990's. Her life is an everywoman's life: childhood, marriage, widowhood, remarriage, motherhood, brief career as a gardening columnist, widowhood, old age, death. The story is told in bits and pieces -- some ch...more
Our reprieve was spent on Martha's Vineyard, in July, and those two weeks were truly an idyll. The thing I remember most about that time was that I read The Stone Diaries. It was a slow, leisurely reading at State Beach, where the waters are fairly quiet, and I was so comfortably squashed into a beach chair, my...more
The main characters in this are simple but lovable. The husband of the above woman, Cuyler, is a quiet man who doesn’t understand why his wife died (in childbirth) and why she didn’t tell him she was pregnant. He thought it was an affront...more
Stone is, at times, perfectly written, rife with beautiful, thoughtful observations about life. Shields imbues with significance tiny, everyday moments; makes banality into romance. Parts of the novel are truly breathtaking. It’s fair to say that the...more