The Stone Diaries by Carol Shield

Published: 1993

Genre: fiction

Length: 361 pages

Setting: various Canadian and American locations, 1905-1985

Interest: It was a Pulitzer Prize winner

Summary: The book follows the life of Daisy Goodwill, from her birth to her death. Each chapter is a different significant stage of her life. Daisy’s mother, Mercy, didn’t know she was pregnant until she gave birth and then died, hemorrhaging, on the kitchen floor. Daisy was raised by her next door neighbor, Clarentine, who left her husband and went to live with her son, Barker. When Clarentine died, Daisy went to live with her father in Indiana. Daisy’s first marriage ended with the accidental death of her husband on their honeymoon. She eventually marries Barker, raising three kids. After Barker’s death, she starts writing a gardening column for the newspaper, before beginning a gradual decline into death.

Final thoughts: Nothing too exciting, but I did enjoy the format of the book. Each chapter just picked up in a new place in Daisy’s life, and you had to read between the lines to fill in the blanks since we last saw Daisy. I enjoyed having to put all the pieces together into Daisy’s rather unconventional life. I did find the genealogy tree at the beginning of the book to be a bit of a spoiler, since it revealed she married twice, for example. I also keep going back to the beginning of the book and thinking about how you could be nine months pregnant and not realize it. It boggles my mind, but it still happens in this day and age!

Title comes from: Daisy’s father was a stone cutter and the book was a diary of Daisy’s life.

Awards won: the Pulitzer Prize in 1995

Reading challenges fulfilled: 46/100 in my 100 Book Challenge, 5/12 in the Check Off Your Reading List Challenge, and an S in my author Alphabet Soup Challenge

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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