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The Stone Diaries
The Stone Diaries
Author: Carol Shields
From her calamitous birth in Manitoba in 1905 to her journey with her father to Indiana, throughout her years as a wife, mother and widow, Daisy Stone Goodwill has struggled to understand her place in her own life. Now she listens, she observes, and through shear force of imagination, she becomes a witness of her own life: her birth, her death, ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780140233131
ISBN-10: 014023313X
Publication Date: 4/1/1995
Pages: 400
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 304 ratings
Publisher: Penguin
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 106 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
This book took me awhile to read as I was never really drawn in or enticed to keep reading it. Nonetheless I read on, enjoying the fine writing, and still certain that a climactic end was in store. Well it never really came, yet something more rewarding occurred that caught me by suprise. Upon finishing the book, I sat, closed my eyes and carefully considered the thoughts this book provoked in me. Thoughts about life, its meaning, its purpose, how to approach it, thoughts of family, of friendships, of births and deaths, of work, of retirement, of illness, and of my own death. I was quite saddened by the book. The family and friends of Daisy knew so little about her really. She became, to them (and to me), this old lady who repeated herself, and led a self-denied life of wife and mother.

The reminder I take away from Daisy's life is to be careful not to let life happen to you like an accident. It's important to try to exert some influence where you can or the everyday omission of influence can form a life of regrets that are only recognizable in death.

"The Stone Diaries" is an immensely introspective examination of the cycles of life. Even though the lives of the characters are without much spark or excitement, they are portrayed in a way that compels you to take notice and to care. Whether it's the superb writing, the sublime story or the subdued pace, the novel works well and was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 376 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
This book fell flat for me in so many ways. You've got to be a fan of Shields' writing in order to appreciate this. Although it won the Pulitzer Prize, I truly question why. I found the main character bland, her life bland, the writing bland. I was glad when it was over. I finished only because I want to read all of the Pulitzer Prize winners. This was by far the worst of them I'd read.
reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
this is probably one of the best written books I've read in a long time. Couldn't put it down.

This fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett, captured in Daisy's vivacious yet reflective voice, has been winning over readers since its publication in 1995, when it won the Pulitzer Prize. After a youth marked by sudden death and loss, Daisy escapes into conventionality as a middle-class wife and mother. Years later she becomes a successful garden columnist and experiences the kind of awakening that thousands of her contemporaries in mid-century yearned for but missed in alcoholism, marital infidelity and bridge clubs. The events of Daisy's life, however, are less compelling than her rich, vividly described inner life--from her memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death. Shields' sensuous prose and her deft characterizations make this, her sixth novel, her most successful yet
reviewed The Stone Diaries on
Helpful Score: 5
Beautifully written, Pullitzer Prize winner... Incredible metaphors and of my favorites.
reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
A well-written story about the life of a woman from birth to death, her parents, children, grandchildren and friends. It explores the role of women through the generations.
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reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 32 more book reviews
Very good read. This is what modern literature looks like.
reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 2 more book reviews
I recommend this book for readers who enjoy character-driven novels. The point of view is particularly interesting, and the poignant end of the narrator's life is well told.
reviewed The Stone Diaries on + 224 more book reviews
This book is well-written, but I think the reason some are rough on it is that it won the Pulitzer in 1995. I would have to say that I've read others that I may have preferred over this one, but Shields can be counted on to deliver a well-written, inventive book and this one is no exception.