HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

The Stone Diaries (1993)

by Carol Shields

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,2331101,513 (3.76)1 / 467
In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of its original publication, Carol Shields's Pulitzer Prizewinning novel is now available in a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition One of the most successful and acclaimed novels of our time, this fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett is a subtle but affecting portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life. What transforms this seemingly ordinary tale is the richness of Daisy's vividly described inner life -- from her earliest memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

» See also 467 mentions

English (105)  Dutch (3)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (109)
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
The Canadian marvel, loved it for the 2nd time. One of those books that makes me feel like there are other people out there like me, which was her point. ( )
  FurbyKirby | Jan 5, 2021 |
“My mother’s name was Mercy Stone Goodwill.” And so begins what appears at first to be an autobiography of a woman named Daisy but yet as the pages unfold, it becomes something unique, an outsider’s observation of someone’s actions or inner thoughts (though at times even the narrator, be it Daisy or another does not seem to know exactly what is going on). It seems at times to be a pseudo-biography, or perhaps (more apt), to be a philosophical treatise on human nature and a woman’s psyche, or maybe it is a somewhat humorous yet sad look at the place of a woman in the twentieth century. The novel explores what one thinks as one is dying or ill or going through the loss of a loved one but then explains that although it has the appearance of truth it might just be all made up. However, as the author makes clear, if we are told it is the truth we can accept it.

The ins and outs and ups and downs in the life of an ordinary woman could have been told in an even, flat tone with perhaps exclamations when a milestone is reached (age 31! Marriage! 3rd child!), but instead the narrative meanders, always going forward but yet constantly looking back over its shoulder at certain places so we can peek into the minds of others and be a part of their going forth into the world apart from Daisy. One chapter is told entirely in letters (only letters TO, never FROM) and another chapter is a series of interviews with people who “knew Daisy when”. Although it is doubtful these interviews happened, they ring of truth, and because Daisy is never very forthright herself about what’s going on, the opinions and insights of others are important to the narrative.

In the end we are left with a shopping list, a bridal trousseau, school awards, a collection of books, fingernail clippings, and a memorial write-up of a life lived. Daisy’s thoughts about life and what others perceived about her life (sometimes wrongly, but that would only be natural) are also left with us.

As I read this book, I would often think – this is a strange novel. Sometimes it made me wince, sometimes it made me laugh. This book touched on subjects not often analyzed or seen in the fiction that I normally read. “Mom! Tell me where babies come from!” Then, “Ooo, yuk!” come to mind as one great scene. The inclusion of pictures (!) was definitely a pleasant surprise. The different writing styles was interesting and although I sometimes wondered if I actually liked this book, I did find I had to read to the end. The observations made by the author were sometimes painful but very perceptive. If at times it seemed to get wordy and bogged down in too much analysis, the author changed the style and started a new chapter in Daisy's life.

From “The tide of fertility and the consolation of fruit salts” to “her faltering pendulum heart, her stiffened coral lungs” the descriptions and comparisons in this book are beautiful and poetic and some I had to read several times so I could fully appreciate them. It's 4 stars instead of 5 for me as at times I was impatient for the story to move forward but the book is incredible for the observations the author makes about our lives.
( )
  Chica3000 | Dec 11, 2020 |
Carol Shields combines memoir, biography, and diary in the life of a woman who seems ordinary, but like so many other women in history, has nuances and extraordinary visions of her own. Daisy is an interesting and subtle character, seemingly not remarkable on the surface, but she pulses with the familiar dreams and longings that we each face. This is the second Shields I've read, and while it cannot compare to Swann, this is a worthy companion and would make an excellent novel to discuss when we talk about the biography, women's literature, or Canadian literature. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
This was what I think of as a “quiet” novel. It follows the life of Daisy Goodwill from her birth in 1905 to her death. It is fictional biography, with some parts seeming to be auto biographical, but with no explanation for the source of any of the material. In many respects Daisy leads a very normal life for her time and place, despite it beginning in a unique fashion. Not much happens to Daisy, and that is the focus of the story, because many women in the first half of the 20th century faced a similar limited set of choices. Life just happens to Daisy, rather than Daisy taking on life. Daisy accepts what comes and does not go looking for more or better; she only hopes for change.

She wants to want something but doesn't know what she is allowed.

Please, please let something happen.

She's caught in a version of her life, pinned there.

"Moving right along" is what she murmurs to herself these days... Moving right along, and along, and along. The way she's done all her life. Numbly. Without thinking.

Even when Daisy develops a career at one point in life, it is taken from her and she doesn’t pursue replacing it. Is the problem the limited options life presents to her or her passive acceptance of only what comes along? Is this a life well-lived? A life forfeited? Is Daisy at peace or does she have regrets? ( )
  afkendrick | Oct 24, 2020 |
I enjoyed how the author blended intimacy and a sweeping multigenerational family story. It also had moments of interesting reflection such as the author’s commentary on evanescence of time. However I found the central character, Daisy Goodwill Flett, rather unexceptional, and I became less interested as she aged. ( )
  Misprint | Aug 31, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
There is little in the way of conventional plot here, but its absence does nothing to diminish the narrative compulsion of this novel. Carol Shields has explored the mysteries of life with abandon, taking unusual risks along the way. "The Stone Diaries" reminds us again why literature matters.
added by kathrynnd | editNew York Times, Jay Parini (Mar 27, 1994)
 

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Shields, Carolprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Belenson, GailCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gossije, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lively, PenelopeIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, Mary AnnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
nothing she did or said
was quite what she meant
but still her life could be called a monument
shaped in a slant of available light
and set to the movement of possible music

(From "The Grandmother Cycle" by Judith Downing, Converse Quarterly, Autumn)
Dedication
For my sister Babs
First words
My mother's name was Mercy Stone Goodwill.
Quotations
It is frightening, and also exhilarating, her ability to deceive those around her...
She was, you might say, a woman who recognized the value of half a loaf.
These last ten years had been a period of disintegration; he saw that now. He had imagined himself to be a man intent on making something, while all the while he was participating in a destructive and sorrowful narrowing of his energy.
Moving right along, and along, and along. The way she's done all her life. Numbly. Without thinking.
That life “thus far” has meant accepting the doses of disabling information that have come her way, every drop, and stirring them with the spoon of her longing – she's done this for so many years it's become second nature.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of its original publication, Carol Shields's Pulitzer Prizewinning novel is now available in a Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition One of the most successful and acclaimed novels of our time, this fictionalized autobiography of Daisy Goodwill Flett is a subtle but affecting portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life. What transforms this seemingly ordinary tale is the richness of Daisy's vividly described inner life -- from her earliest memories of her adoptive mother to her awareness of impending death.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
From her calamitous birth in Manitboa in 1905 to her journey with her father to Indiana, throughot 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 sheer force of imagination, she becomes a witness of her own life: her birth, her death, and the troubling miconnections she discovers in between. With irony and humor, CS weaves together the poignant story of this twentieth-century pilgrim in search of herself, and in doing so she creates a story that is a paradigm of the unsettles decades of our era. (0-14-023313-X)
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.76)
0.5 2
1 19
1.5 4
2 76
2.5 12
3 249
3.5 106
4 393
4.5 63
5 232

Voland Edizioni

An edition of this book was published by Voland Edizioni.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 159,026,100 books! | Top bar: Always visible