Rosana's Reviews > Stones from the River

Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
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Apr 29, 2009

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bookshelves: 2009
Read in May, 2009

It has been a while since a book has enthralled me the way this book has, and yet I am struggling to give it anything more than 3 stars. Ursula Hegi strength is her power to transport us into this German community during the years from the end of WWI until the years just after WWII. The small village inhabitants – their rivalry, small and big conflicts, acts of bravery or cowardice, etc... – are poignantly described by Hegi. But, I felt at the end that the background had taken priority over the individual characters.

While the communal experience of war left me breathless and teary at times, once the plot moved from it, the personal struggles seemed underdeveloped, becoming rushed or simply abandoned while new conflicts stirred up. This is too bad, because for quite a while the main character carried the story well, but at some time Ursula Hegi seems to lose the control of this world she created and too many characters with too many personal stories become too loosely connected, with side stories sprouting and disappearing, while what should had been the driving event directing the book – the revenge planed by the main character against the boys that so deeply hurt her – becomes secondary. This is evident at the end, when it is all tied together in a most unsatisfactory and unconvincing way.

Now, having said all this, I am considering nominating this book to my offline bookclub. While it lacks in literary sophistication, Stones from the River still raises deep questions on the personal responsibility of individuals in the political events happening around us all. A good book to discuss, I am sure.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Ruth Constant Reader did this one. It was my first book by Hegi, and I loved it.


Rosana I should go look into CR old discussions. i just finished it, and must gather my thoughts before writting a review.


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