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The Silent Strength of Stones by Nina Kiriki…

The Silent Strength of Stones (1995)

by Nina Kiriki Hoffman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Chapel Hollow (2)

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342447,401 (3.97)19

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The first book I'd read by her. The book reminded me of Zenna Henderson's "People" stories, but with a much more sinister edge. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
The Silent Strength of Stones is the second book in the Chapel Hollow trilogy, but its links to the other two books are fairly loose and it stands on its own very well. (I read the trilogy in the reverse order...)

Nick spends his summers helping his father run a general store / motel, and watching the visitors who come to the Lake. He longs to escape - not so much from the lake, but from his father store and his father's expectations. But the summer Willow and her family visit the lake, Nick makes some new friends and is forced to confront the truth about his unusual abilities.

Nick isn't your average 17 year old, but literature is full of stories about lonely teenagers with powers they don't understand; in this, he is not an uncommon protagonist.
What is unusual is that the most intense relationship in this book is a close friendship between two heterosexual boys. Oh, there are girls and romance - for both of them - but Nick falls into friendship the way other teenage protagonists fall in love.
Admittedly it is a friendship complicated and deepened by magical matters, but it is still the most durable relationship to come out of this book. (Although I suppose all the relationships in this story are works in progress...)
I liked this; the world needs all the stories of friendship it can get.

This is a quiet, introspective, hopeful YA novel which should be better known. ( )
  Herenya | Jul 14, 2012 |
I picked up [The SIlent Strength of Stones] by [[Nini Kiriki Hoffman]] on the discount shelves of a local bookstore. I'd heard good things about her writing on LibraryThing, so I figured it was worth trying. The book sat on my shelves for a few months before I finally delved into it. My reaction within just a few chapters was "Wow!" It was fantastic! Some of the best writing I've read in years.

This is something of a fantasy coming-of-age story. Nick is a teenager who lives in the tiny hamlet near Sauterelle Lake in the Oregon Cascades. It's one of those remote locations where the rich urbanites congregate for the summer, and the much less wealthy locals provide the necessary services for the tourists. In Nick's case, he and his divorced dad run the little general store. Nick spends his days working in the store and spying on the neighbors, particularly the interesting range of summer guests. In rural areas, not much entertainment is available, and people watching allows Nick to escape his own dreary circumstances for awhile each day. Willow and her family move into one of the rental chalets, and Nick finds their mysterious activities an irresistible draw. Soon Nick finds himself entangled in magic, including a wolf companion, and his life will never be the same.

The prose is crisp and engaging. The characters are exceptionally well drawn; they are all white and apparently straight and able-bodied, though Nick does deal with some temporary physical problems. [[Nina Kiriki Hoffman]] excellently portrays teenagers struggling with questions of identity, need, love, responsibility, abuse, abandonment and loss, and problematic adults in their lives. The plot moves along smoothly, the dialogue sparkles, and the resolution doesn't feel too contrived. It feels set up for a sequel, since various mysteries have been introduced and remain unresolved. Again, amazing, evocative writing well worth reading again and again. ( )
2 vote justchris | Aug 14, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nina Kiriki Hoffmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Stawicki, MattIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one is for Nancy Etchemendy, blood sister.
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The first time I saw Willow disappear was a couple of days after I met her, and she didn't know I was watching her - not unless she was a lot more devious than I thought she was, and as a master of deviousness, I was pretty sure I would know.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0380777606, Mass Market Paperback)

It is a season of many wonders, with many secrets ripe for discovering ...and some best left in shadow, unexplored. Summer has come to Sauterelle Lake. And inquisitive young Nick is discovering many things he doesn't want to know: About a pretty girl with hypnotic eyes who talks to his soul... About a wild creature--a wolf--whose features shine with an intelligent, un-lupine knowing... About a strange, inhospitable family occupying a cabin that is meant to be empty. This summer, nature's magic is not the only sorcery traveling on the wind. And the real trick will be surviving until the autumn.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

Nick, a secretive teen, believes that Sauterelle Lake represents the greatest outlet for his fantasies, until he discovers a mysterious woman in a supposedly deserted cabin and a wolf takes an unnatural interest in him. Original.

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