Pulitzer Prize Winning Fiction Project discussion

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The Stone Diaries

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message 1: by Angela (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:04PM) (new)

Angela Wynne | 14 comments FYI-Not one of the greatest books I have read to date. There are parts that are very interesting--but the story as a whole is not very intricate or cohesive in my opinion. I definitely lost interest towards the middle and became utterly bored as I neared the end.

It really reads like a scrapbook of Daisy Goodwill's life which is frankly, not that interesting. I am looking forward to reading something GREAT from the PP list after Jane Eyre. Any suggestions?

Happy Holidays!!


message 2: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 5 comments I agree...this book was like a rock - inert and immobile. I liked the imagery of the stone, though not fully embraced toward the end.


message 3: by Amy (new)

Amy How odd. I LOVED The Stone Diaries. Maybe you have to be in the right frame of mind or the right time in your life to find it interesting. I read it in 2003, and this was my review of it:

From the moment that I stepped inside the world in this book, I could understand why it received the Pulitzer prize. I stepped right into Mercy Goodwell's kitchen and couldn't wait for her Malvern pudding to be done so that I could try it. I wanted to be one of the tourists looking at the tower that newly wed Cuyley Goodwill built to memorialize his wife. I wanted to touch the intricately and lovingly carved pictures and words on the stones of the tower.

THE STONE DIARIES is the story of the life of Daisy Goodwill. The first chapter is told in first-person in Daisy's own words. But the rest of the story (although told in third-person) seems to be written by her as well. Every person in the life of Daisy Goodwell is three-dimensional; you can almost reach out and touch them. Daisy, however, is the very person that she dreads becoming -- a person remembered for what happened TO her rather than WHO she is. The explanation would go something like this: "Daisy Goodwell? You remember her. Don't you? She's the one who's mother didn't know she was pregnant and died in childbirth. And her first husband was tragically killed on their honeymoon." Upon finishing the book, you feel that you know ABOUT Daisy, but you really don't seem to know HER. The author has been so kind as to supply black and white photographs of all the other characters in the book. But where's Daisy? Is she the person on the front cover?

You can tell from the table of contents that this is going to be the story of the life -- from birth to death -- of Daisy Goodwell. Carol Shields shows her genius, however, by making the main character disappear from her own life story! And that Is the plot: the life of Daisy Goodwell and her absence therein. I read this book over the course of one day. It was extremely satisfying. I look forward to reading more books by this author.


message 4: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (StandWhereIstand) | 3 comments Immediately after reading this book, I thought it was kind of dull, but after I started to think about it, I think it was kind of dull on purpose. I think the author was trying to make a statement about the way women's lives were in the past - how family really was "all they had." It's still not one of my favorites, but I can appreciate it more now.


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