The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Widely regarded as a modern classic, The Stone Diaries is the story of one woman’s life; that of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman born in Canada in 1905. Beautifully written and deeply compassionate, it follows Daisy’s life through marriage, widowhood, motherhood, and old age, as she charts her own path alongside that of an unsettled century. A subtle but affective portrait of an everywoman reflecting on an unconventional life, this multi-award winning story deals with everyday issues of existence with an extraordinary vibrancy and irresistible flair.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this novel and it didn’t take me long to realise that I had never read anything like it before and it would be a long time before I would again. 

It starts in 1905 when Daisy is born and steadily covers all of her life and a short period after her death. She doesn’t have an overly exciting life, just a normal one but it was fascinating to see how she coped with love, loss and family life. She sees a lot of change during her long life. Both wars and Kennedy’s assassination are mentioned but only briefly. None had a huge impact on her and those she knows.

It’s not just her version of history you see. Her children, friends and brief associates also have their voice and I found that I learned more about Daisy from them rather than her. Some had more of an impact than others, in particular her mother in law who did make me smile initially but I also saw a venomous streak.

One of my favourite parts which didn’t really include her was when her father in law, Magnus, returned to his roots. It showed how just one of the many who crossed the seas yearned for their former life.

It’s often witty, often sad but what stands out is this is just a normal life.