Mary Moore's Reviews > A Stone for Bread

A Stone for Bread by Miriam Herin
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it was amazing

A story of a North Carolina man caught up in the horrors of war and the frustrations of passionate love when he lives in Paris during the aftermath of WWII.

A STONE FOR BREAD is a product of Miriam Herin's rich imagination, but the novel is crafted with the realism of a powerful documentary. The story centers on North Carolina native Henry Beam, who excels in school and goes to Paris right after WWII, determined to be a poet. Instead, he becomes involved in post-war Parisian politics, and through a series of dramatic yet credible events, he ends up with a set of poems written by an inmate of Mauthausen, a notorious concentration camp. Henry translates these poems and, in a sense, devotes his life to them, even those they destroy his career when he is accused of writing them himself.

The novel's action cuts between Henry as a young man in Paris, Henry as an older man gradually telling his life story to a young graduate student, and to the Mauthausen inmate who ultimately delivers the poems to Henry. The sections describing day-to-day life in Mauthausen are particularly moving -- painful to read, but also beautifully written.

Herin switches between present and past gracefully while weaving in historical details seamlessly. She doesn't merely portray the era -- she writes about Germany and France in the 1940s as if she lived there. A STONE FOR BREAD is a novel that explores the mysteries of the human spirit -- our capacity for deep evil and also deep love. Particularly recommended for readers who like excellent historical fiction.

Disclosure: Miriam Herin is a friend, but this review represents an honest, unsolicited opinion.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
November 1, 2015 – Finished Reading
November 29, 2015 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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message 1: by Gene (new) - added it

Gene Moore Thank you Mary for including me in your recommendation of your friend's novel A STONE FOR BREAD. I have added this to my "want to read" list. I need to be more involved with Goodreads, but often do not access the site. If I could only make more progress reading the books I already want to read. In time will get to her novel. Thanks so much. Gene

Mary Moore Thanks for your interest, Gene -- I think you would like it a lot.

message 3: by Miriam (new)

Miriam Thank you, Mary, for posting this. And thank you Gene for your interest. Miriam Herin

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