The Stone Diaries is one ordinary woman's story of her journey through life. Born in 1905, Daisy Stone Goodwill drifts through the roles of child, wife, widow, and mother, and finally into her old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her story within a novel that is itself ...
The Stone Diaries is one ordinary woman's story of her journey through life. Born in 1905, Daisy Stone Goodwill drifts through the roles of child, wife, widow, and mother, and finally into her old age. Bewildered by her inability to understand her place in her own life, Daisy attempts to find a way to tell her story within a novel that is itself about the limitations of autobiography. Her life is vivid with incident, and yet she feels a sense of powerlessness. 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 misconnections she discovers between. Daisy's struggle to find a place for herself in her own life is a paradigm of the unsettled decades of our era. A witty and compassionate anatomist of the human heart, Carol Shields has made distinctively her own that place where the domestic collides with the elemental. With irony and humor she weaves the strands of The Stone Diaries together in this, her richest and most poignant novel to date.
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Carol Shields wrote this autobiographical fiction that reflects the life of Daisy Goodwill from her tragic birth to her sad death through diaries and letters. Daisy, as well as the many other characters who hover around her, is lonely, trying to figure out what she can do with her life, what could bring her happiness and satisfaction. The reader is brought into her world, a world that has probably been that of many other women of the time, through opinions and events that construct her character of a typical woman of the beginning of the century frustrated to have no other purpose than motherhood. While she does not find her life's purpose in working as a journalist, she grows and develops into an accomplished and remembered woman who mirrors, to the reader, the reality and difficulty of trying to find a voice and a place in a society just starting to consider women as independent individuals capable of more than simply cooking, cleaning and caring for others (read: men). Beautifully written, Shields' novel is touching, easy to read and her characters are more than realistic; the reader rapidly becomes a part of the family as he/she reads the diary and the letters and the characters reminded me of people I know, of personalities I've encountered, of life issues I have had to deal with as life went by. The Stones Diaries won the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1995 and remains, to this day, a classic of Canadian Literature and of Women Literature.
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