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stones from the river
stones from the river
Author: ursula hegi
ISBN: 10613
Edition: Unabridged
  • Currently 4.5/5 Stars.

4.5 stars, based on 1 rating
Book Type: Audio Cassette
Other Versions: Paperback, Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

Leigh avatar reviewed stones from the river on + 378 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
Difficult to get into (about 100 pages), but worth it, once you do. I learned more about WWII reading this novel than I ever did in a history book (sadly). Hegi's characters drove home the pain of having war touch you personally, although you may not be politically involved. Her unique approach to the war descriptions was Shirley Jacksonesque - she presents rumors, bits and pieces, phrases -- and lets your mind assemble them into the horrors you already know took place. One by one, you are introduced to, grow to love, and read the fates of, each person in the main character's (Trudi's) life. Expect to form strong, sentimental attachments.
reviewed stones from the river on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Every couple of years, I take 'Stones from the River' off my bookshelf and read it over again. I first heard about this book beacuse it was an Oprah's book club pick. 'Stones from the River' is about the life of Trudi Montag,a dwarf who is living her life in a small town in Germany. The book is from Trudi's childhood to her adulthood. She is such a great character and this book is an outstanding read. I wasn't disappointed at all. My favorite line from the book occurs when Trudi is talking to a man named Adolf, a Jew who is hiding in Trudi's house during WWII, and she is comparing the suffering that he and others Jews are going through to others and he tells her: "...But we can't do that-compare our pain. It minimizes what happens to is, distorts it. We need to say, yes, this is what happened to me, and this is what I'll do about it."
rachelmarie avatar reviewed stones from the river on
Helpful Score: 8
I got half way through and couldn't put it down! This Oprah Book Club book from 1997 is completely worth the read. It was very interesting and educational - letting you see the German view of WWII. I was, as many other reviewers, able to learn more about WWII than I had in school. I loved the character associations and seeing them 'grow' from childhood in the early 1900's to later on in life after WWII - seeing how they changed and how their families changed or were lost.
A book you won't regret getting into.
CaptCookie avatar reviewed stones from the river on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Recommendations by Oprah not withstanding, this book was not for me. It depressed me so profoundly my initial rating was "Hate it", however, I settled on a rating of "Didn't like it". Was it well-written? Even a dummy like me would have to admit the author produces a deep novel, too deep for my comfort. I was forced to recognize that many of the bullies, batterers, and bigots that inhabited that sorry moment in history - guess what - exist in our world today. Do I really want to know that? Not! In fact, like many of the book's sad victims of broken dreams, broken bodies, and broken souls, I just wanted to escape that kind of environment as fast as I could. Like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car, I froze up and I could not put this book down until I had painstakingly plowed through it to the finish. Surprise - no happy ending. Well, back to my delightful historic romance novels where I can blissfully view the world through rose-colored fans, the bad guys always get caught and punished, the deformed are made whole once again, and lovers live happily ever after. Shallow me - but at least I won't have to take an anti-depressant! Please, some reader with more discriminating tastes than I, take this book off my Bookshelf soon - if not, I'm going to bring it to my nearest Used Bookstore and swap it for some light reading.
reviewed stones from the river on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I almost gave up on this book until a fellow PBSer convinced me it really is a good book, and she was right it is. I am so glad I did not give up on it and read it all the way through. It really gave me a new perspective on how life was back then and the struggles people went through just to survive. It made me appreciate the freedoms I now have. It was well written, though a little confusing at times if you do not pay attention.
Read All 99 Book Reviews of "stones from the river"

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reviewed stones from the river on + 40 more book reviews
Fantastic! A must read...
reviewed stones from the river on
Very good book, one of Oprah's picks.
reviewed stones from the river on + 105 more book reviews
This sat on my shelf for such a long time. I thought about releasing it without reading it but something stopped me. And I'm glad.

One reviewer called it "epic" and I can't think of a better word. It is the story of Trudi Montag, born a little person - dwarf - zwerg - who tried to become normal. As a child she tried to stretch herself by hanging from closet bars. She tried to squash her head to make is smaller, more proportionate.

None of these efforts caused anything but pain, and eventually Trudi gave up on them. She took her place beside her father in their pay library, checking out books, taking in fees, finding books and saving the new ones for special customers. Her mother had lived on the edge of madness so it was Trudi and her father as she grew up.

Fortunately, Trudi's father was a kind, accepting, wise man. During the 1930s in Germany it was easy to be targeted if you were kind and accepting. Her father did not let this deter him from helping when his Jewish neighbors were pushed from their homes and arrested for no reason.

We follow Trudi through her early years, then on into the second world war and beyond. We watch as her neighbors show their true colors and as Trudi learns how to forgive sometimes, but not always. An incident in her early teens caused her to distrust almost everyone, especially those who wanted more from her, who wanted real love.

This huge novel takes a small life and brings into focus what it was like to be German during Hitler's reign, what it was like to be different then as it is now. I appreciated the nuanced portrayals of Trudi's town and neighbors. Written by someone who wasn't alive until much later, it reads like she was there, on the spot.

When they are this good, there is always room for more interpretations of those terrible times, as they bring about greater understanding.
Sandiinmississippi avatar reviewed stones from the river on + 265 more book reviews
This was fine writing, great characters, and an interesting story line. Some of the events & descriptions are really quite riveting. I came to care a great deal about our flawed though admirable heroine and appreciated that she wasn't painted as a perpetually rosy and selfless creature. The book did seem overlong.
reviewed stones from the river on
I tried so hard to like this book, and really get into the story. I had read other reviews about how great it was once you got through the first few chapters. I read this till about page 200, and it just could not hold my attention. The main character was interesting enough, but the story just dragged on, and could not draw me in.
reviewed stones from the river on + 16 more book reviews
Never opened. Belonged to a book club, it's beyond my scope...but I've heard that it's EXCELLENT
reviewed stones from the river on + 67 more book reviews
This is a great book. It is read by the author so she has the right accent for the character. I am not sure if it is abridged or not.
reviewed stones from the river on + 67 more book reviews
I loved this book(tapes) It is read by the author so her accent is just as it should be for the character. I don't know if this is abridged or not.

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