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These Granite Islands by Sarah Stonich
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These Granite Islands (2001)

by Sarah Stonich

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This is a beautiful but heartbreaking story of friendship and loss. The writing was mesmerizing, the characters came to life, and time and place were well-written and a part of the story in and of themselves. Loved this book from beginning to end. ( )
1 vote CatieN | Aug 6, 2011 |
I couldn't stop reading this until I finally reached the end and I was boo-hooing. Beautifully written, very moving story of one woman's life, her marriage and time of estrangement, a friendship and loss. Recommended. ( )
1 vote debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
A woman matures in the 1930's. Her husband has taken their boys away for the summer. They'd been arguing and now she's left to mull her thoughts. She meets an unusual, wealthy, free spirited woman who has her own problems. ( )
  shelnutt | May 10, 2009 |
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Epigraph
I made this, I have forgotten

And remember.

The rigging weak and the canvas rotten

Between one June and another September.

-T.S. Eliot
Dedication
For Sam and his great-grandparents Julia and Joseph
First words
They worked side by side through the warm days, and in the evenings they traveled the fringes of town to the reedy shore, walking arm in arm the way women no longer walk.
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Book description
Isobel knew as she spoke that the doctor would misunderstand. She didn't want to go to her apartment, she wanted to go home. To see Victor again, sauntering around a corner with a ridiculous paper flower. To sit in a rocking canoe, shielding her eyes from the sun to glimpse lovers strolling on a shore, bending to reach for the same stone. To settle on her work stool and choose something lovely for a brim. To be back in her old garden, washing Louisa's hair under the shade of trees long fallen. To rest.

These Granite Islands is an arresting first novel about a woman who, on her deathbed, recalls the haunting and fatefulo summer of 1936, a summer that forever changed her life.

Isobel has been wife, mother, hatmaker. At the end of her long life she is simply herself, with one last story to tell her only surviving child. She picks up the threads of a mystery that has shadowed her for sixty years and recalls her brief but unforgettable friendship with an extraordinary woman. During one long-ago summer she witnesses a passionate and dangerous love affair that tests her loyalty and challenges her definitions of what is proper. This summer becomes the prism to refract the essence of Isobel's life. When is dissolves in a haunting tragedy, Isobel is left to assess her future and her own marriage and, finally, to ponder the risk of loving someone wholly. An intimate and gripping story of a friendship, a portrait of a marriage, and a meditation on the tragedy of loss, this is a remarkable. page-turning literary debut.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316815586, Paperback)

Now in paperback: one of the most highly acclaimed literary debuts of recent seasons--a tale of love, loss, and friendship that magically recalls one fateful Midwestern summer in 1936.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"These Granite Islands is an arresting novel about a woman who, on her deathbed, recalls the haunting and fateful summer of 1936, a summer that forever changed her life. Sarah Stonich's debut novel, set on the Iron Range of Minnesota, is an intimate and gripping story of a friendship, a portrait of marriage, and a meditation on the tragedy of loss. "--… (more)

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