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The Stone Boy

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  348 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
The bestselling French phenomenon, winner of the Prix Lion Noir, now available in English for the first time...

When Madame Préau returns to her home outside Paris after a long convalescence, she immediately notices that much has changed. The neighborhood has fallen into disrepair, and now, instead of a beautiful garden next door there is a new house. Madame Préau finds th
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 1st 2013 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2011)
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Diane S ☔
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
One of the better psychologically. twisty books I have read in a while. Takes place in France, when a former school head-mistress returns home after being gone for over 10 yrs. There are little clues, scattered here and there hinting at the reason for her absence and also flashbacks to her childhood. All done extremely well.

I think the reason I liked this book so much was because along with the insidious creepiness of this book, it also made one look at a few important questions. Does one believ
Feb 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Wow! Mostly I have an idea of what will happen at the end of a book, but I have to admit that I had no clue where we were going with this one. I don't want to say too much in case I give anything away but if you enjoy psychological thrillers with an unreliable narrator and lots of twists and turns then get this one.

The Story: When the elderly Madame Preau returns to her own house after several years spent in a convalescent home, she immediately notices that the neighbourhood has changed. A new f
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A woman with a lifetime of eccentric behavior, blurring reality and fantasy, displays all the symptoms of delusional paranoia in later adulthood. After 10 years of psychiatric hospitalization, she returns to her childhood home and stops taking her medication. Soon she is setting two hundred mouse traps to deal with nighttime noises only she can hear, killing stray cats and laundering their pelts to prevent being spied on by microchips they carry and accusing the neighbors of abusing a child they ...more
Oct 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense
The French novel The Stone Boy is a curiously strange tale of psychological suspense. The premise involves an elderly woman, Madame Préau who, after a long period of convalescence comes home to a changed neighborhood. She is pretty much alone except for a housekeeper and a son who visits her periodically and seems to be distant and untrusting. Her closest neighbor is a family with apparently three children. One of the children, an older boy, is always seen separately from the others and, to Mada ...more
Sonja Arlow
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Initially I was completely underwhelmed by this story as told from the viewpoint of Elsa Preau, a miserable woman that only seem to see the misery in life, and the type of person I try to avoid in real life.

As a retired headmistress Elsa leads the quiet life of a typical old lady, spending her days spying on the neighbours through her curtains, complaining in elaborately written letters to council men about noise and dust pollution while taking time to constantly accuse her son of neglecting he
Jan 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The heroine of this book is Elsa Preau, a retired headmistress living alone in her former family home to which she has recently returned after several years in a convalescent home. Visited infrequently by her doctor son, Martin, Elsa has little to keep her occupied apart from visits to her physiotherapist and her psychologist.
Missing contact with her grandson, Bastien, and the children she used to teach, Elsa becomes obsessed with watching the children of her nearest neighbour. But what she see
This psychological thriller has enough twists and turns to appeal to many mystery/thriller aficionado. However to say it is a psychological thriller alone would be incorrect because it offers so much more. The stigma of Mental illness, the elderly and the bond between mother and child are explored closely.

It's a "cracker" of a story because just when you think you know the direction the author is taking, you are led off on another journey entirely.

It is a little slow to get going but I felt that
May 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2017
One of the best thrillers I've read - the twists kept on coming and the ending actually felt satisfying. I can see why this was a bestseller in France.
Pamela Barrett
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is Madame Preau crazy, senile, or over medicated and hallucinating, a psychic or psychotic? Or is she telling the truth? You won’t know till the end of this Psychological thriller that kept me guessing. There is one quote that summed up this mystery for me “The touch of madness was irresistible.”

Elsa Preau was an eccentric, brilliant woman who had been the Head Mistress at a French elementary school. She is very sensitive to current affairs and injustices in the world—writing letters to agencie
Mar 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Stone Boy is an interesting novel. Sophie Loubriere writes subtly and sparsely. This is a French bestseller, so it’s like watching a French movie with understated action and nuance.

Madame Preau is the curmudgeonly protagonist who is tenacious in her thoughts and opinion. One of my favorite parts of the novel is when Madame Preau writes letters to provide her opinions and helpful tips to government officials. Her letters are hilarious, in a truly French and understated way. Madame is persnick
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