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Customer Comments

Barbara Stone has commented on (10) products.

Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson
Astrid and Veronika

Barbara Stone, January 19, 2010

"Astrid and Veronika" is one of the most perfectly written books I've ever had the pleasure to read. The story of two women in a remote Scandinavian village, Olsson lets us glimpse the lives and the pain of the two almost peripherally. I read once, that each person has at least one story, that, if you heard it, would break your heart. Astrid and Veronika are no exception, but they'll break your heart with beauty and courage.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)



When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson
When Will There Be Good News?

Barbara Stone, August 7, 2009

What can be better in the summer than a Kate Atkinson novel? I'll admit that I'm totally hooked.

This is the third in a series of what I describe to friends as "literary mysteries". Common to all three books is the detective/former policeman, Jackson Brodie. All three feature many threads that all tie together (astoundingly) at the end.

In this novel, Jackson is, once again, involved in a mystery very much against his better judgment. He's involved in an accident and saved by a young woman named Reggie who also has two mysteries of her own to work out. As the various stories are presented you find yourself thinking, "She's never going to connect all of these..." but, amazingly enough, at the end everything fits together in ways you could never have predicted.

Atkinson is one of the few writers who can literally entrance me these days, to the point where family, home, job and interests start taking a back seat to finishing the book. Her characters are compelling and so well fleshed out that you honestly think you know them. The books are masterfully written and deeply satisfying. I'd invite Atkinson to dinner if I could.
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Astrid and Veronika by Linda Olsson
Astrid and Veronika

Barbara Stone, July 29, 2008

What a gem. I didn't want this book to end, but even the ending was perfect.

Linda Olsson has written a small novel of amazing depth and beauty. Things are described in simple yet profound ways, much in the same style as the conversation between the two characters. Both Astrid and Veronika are in pain, and both thought that isolation was the only way of dealing with it. When they find each other, though, a similar chord is struck in each and they piece together a friendship and trust slowly and methodically. Each has a story to tell which comes out slowly and in small bits, and each story will break your heart. But each story also makes each woman who she is--strong, loving and beautiful.

This is a book about connection and transformation. It is beautifully written and will stay with me forever.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year by Virginia Ironside
No! I Don't Want to Join a Book Club: Diary of a Sixtieth Year

Barbara Stone, April 16, 2008

"Women of a certain age" will often surprise you. They've earned the right to have strong opinions, to love as they choose and to do what they want. Mary is fed up with people telling her how to live her life and this funny, warm novel shows you how lively older women can be. It may not appeal to everyone, but I found it incredibly funny and I want to "grow up" to be just like Mary.
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(2 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)



Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Olive Kitteridge

Barbara Stone, April 16, 2008

A book of pure, rich and evolving character. Strout has given us a look inside another person's soul through various character's views of Olive Kitteridge.

I've often told friends that I would actually know myself best if I could do "personality triangulation"--see myself through the eyes of friends and people who know me. The stories in this book reflect many aspects of Olive Kitterage--both good and bad. The reader gets to see how much she loves her son, and how much damage he feels she's done to him. You see her many kindnesses to former students, and her harsh opinions about people she encounters. Ultimately, Olive is like all of us, a mixture of good and bad, annoying and inspiring. I loved "finding" her and her path through life in each story. It was the best sort of scavenger hunt. I love authors who show rather than tell, and Elizabeth Strout has done that exceptionally well.
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(5 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)



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