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Stone Heart

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  827 ratings  ·  53 reviews
From New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a long-awaited opportunity for readers to discover an acclaimed early novel–one of this cherished storyteller’s most powerful and complex portraits of the fragile bonds of family and home.


Nomadic archaeologist Maria Dark is returning home again to the Connecticut shore–a magical place where she, her sister
Paperback, 338 pages
Published March 29th 2005 by Bantam (first published 1990)
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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  827 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
I am getting so old and decrepit I was about a quarter way through this before I realized I'd read it before. This is why I need to get rid of books after finishing them. But since my memory is shot, I barely remembered anything about it so ended up reading it anyway. This one was good because it had an unvarnished message about domestic abuse.
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I have read many of this author's books so I was very disappointed in this one. I'm not really sure what it was that made this so difficult. Some may be due to the fact that this was one of the author's first novels - the edition I have is actually a 2005 reissue of her original 1990 book - so maybe she was still honing her style. The main themes in this book are very difficult. Maria is dealing with the end of her marriage while her sister Sophie is dealing with domestic violence and its afterm ...more
Jan 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-own, book-club
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jyoti Singh
Sep 20, 2008 rated it did not like it
dont bother reading...kinda left a bad taste in my mouth...not the best!
Elizabeth Ambrey
Oct 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
First Luanne Rice I have read. Will be ready to read more. Found the interactions between people interesting. With no parents still alive personally for a number of years. This does give a new perspective and raise issues that I have never really considered . No - relationships within family is never perfect. Some cross the lines of decency. What is really acceptable behaviour? Opens a lot of issues often hidden. Found the book really interesting and revealing also. Thank you Luanne Rice .
Sandy Holmes
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a good book, but difficult to read. The subject was family and domestic violence. It was pretty graphic and straightforward about the abuse and how it affected the family, immediate and extended. It was worth the time to read and had some hotlines at the end for women in situations like this. Just very sad to know what some may be suffering!
Aug 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
would have been 4 stars, but some parts, especially the ending, felt rushed. I did like that it showed domestic abuse isn't just physical. There is so much that is emotional and psychological. Stripping somebody of who they are and the ripple effects that come from it.
Aug 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book made me want to cry. What a sad life Sophie had!
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Liked her portrayal of Maria and how she handled members of her family and grew herself in the process.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Jul 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was a well-written, dark, and not easy-to-read story about the "elephant in the living room" called domestic violence. Upon separating from her husband, archaeologist Maria Dark returns home to Hatuquitit, Connecticut. She slowly realizes that something is not right with her sister Sophie, her husband Gordon, and their two children, Flo and Simon. At first glance they seem like the perfect loving family, but Maria soon learns that they are not as happy as they seem. This book details the in ...more
Mary Chrapliwy
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What an awesome book. I was looking through my book shelf a couple days ago - so many books, so little time - when I happened upon this book. I thought this would be a quick easy read, or even a book I would start and abandon for lack of interest. Neither proved to be true.

Luanne Rice brought the New England family at the heart of this story so vividly to life and the bar of suspense just high enough, that all other reading was shoved aside in favor of this book. The beauty of this story of fami
Feb 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-sold-2015
Very good book that was difficult to put down. Throughout the story, I was trying to understand the characters' mental state that allowed them to act in the ways they did. Would have liked to see the main character, Maria Dark, developed a bit more. It seems she was used more as a vessel to present her family's stories than as an important character on her own. Still, very engrossing story. I was a little surprised by the ending, and found myself crying for Sophie, her children, and the rest of ...more
Oct 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Boy, Talk about a dysfunctional family (or two)! … The main character, Maria Dark, is an archaeologist who has been away for 15 years on digs with her husband. Now that marriage has disolved and she returns home to find that things are not well with her family. Her mother has always been distant, but her formerly happy, friendly sister has turned into someone she doesn’t know. Her brother is an apologist for the family. As she uncovers evidence of abuse she finds she is helpless to do anything a ...more
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This easy read throws you in to a situation you really don't expect at the start of the book. It tenderly approaches the situation of domestic abuse & it's dire affects on all parties involved. The sub plot of a woman struggling with a recent marital separation, returning to her roots & attempting to keep up her passion of archeology while also falling in love with an old classmate is an interesting contrast. ...more
Ellen Puccinelli
Oct 01, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm not a huge fan of Luanne Rice's recent novels, BUT I loved her early works! Stone Heart is dark, dark, dark, but well-written. The subject matter is horribly sad, but the story is an interesting study of sisters and their relationships -- like this author's other early novels Angels All Over Town and Crazy In Love.
Kitty Tomlinson
Dec 29, 2008 rated it liked it
Nomadic archaeologist, Maria Dark, returns home to the Connecticut shore. Her marriage is over and she finds that her family she left at home has changed in ways she never imagined. Her sister, Sophie is a silent victim of domestic abuse until the night she shoots her and kills her husband. It falls to Maria to care for her sister's two children.
Aug 17, 2009 rated it liked it
I finished it because I needed to know the progression and the ending. It is not a fun, lighthearted book; but rather a book that looks at spousal abuse as well as child abuse. It gives insight into how an extended family might help (sometimes by making the wrong choices) this family and their agonizing decisions along the way. It shows that looking the other way is not an option.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Oh what tangled webs we weave! A story of family and the lies we tell others and ourselves,or maybe of just not facing the truth when it hits us in the face so much that we just don't notice it. We are not horses. so we shouldn't need blinders. I think we abuse ourselves first which is why we let others abuse us. Luanne Rice tells a good story.
May 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Dark, well written book about domestic violence. Psychologically disturbing. A beautiful woman lies and so convincingly. Her family believes her and then the truth comes to light. You feel for the children. And you can't help but feel for the adults that they are trapped in their damaged souls because of their upbringing.
Michele Olson
May 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I gave the book five stars because Ms. Rice does a superb job with the subject matter she intended to explore, the spiral and spread of abuse. But I felt uncomfortable with the romantic development in the book, and with the casual dismissal of the very real trauma of divorce and suicide upon a child.
Jeanne Truesdell
Jul 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was an uncomfortable read. I felt it treated some of the subject matter in depth, completely glossed over or made light of other critical issues and the love interest line was not necessary and distracting. It left so many things unresolved or unanswered which I hate in a book. 2.5 would be a better rating from me, but since I can't do that.
Nicole Sackin
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. the writing is very compelling. I was a little confused because the back of the book makes it sound like a mystery and that is not what I would classify it. There are hidden secrets that are revealed but not a lot of building up of mystery and all is revealed pretty consistently. overall, very enjoyable.
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
I find that sometimes it's a hit or miss with Luanne Rice. This book feel a bit outside of what I have previously read from her (generally chick lit). It dealt with a very hard subject, domestic abuse. At times it was hard to read, but I thought it was pretty well done. If nothing else, it opened my eyes to what a family can go through. I'd recommend.
Michael M
Feb 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I thought that this book was very interesting. It had a good plot, well portrayed characters and a very creative situation. The Gunner was a very interesting character and I thought George had changed a lot along the way to the stone heart. I thought that this book was interesting and fun to read.
Aug 11, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Great book about two sisters and their struggle with each other and their different life styles. I love Luanne Rice's characters and the family relationships in her books.
Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Luann Rice writes to realistic, with dishes to do, etc. No escape. Story very predictable. Liked the character's description of archeology.
Oct 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
a story about family and spousal abuse. however, once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down.
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Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-five novels including LAST DAY, BEACH GIRLS, and THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTER. THE SHADOW BOX will be out in January 2021. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She lives on the Connecticut sh ...more

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