The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields is a book I was reading for both the Orbis Terrarum and the 1% Well-Read Challenges.
I must confess that I have in fact read the book before - as a part of a university english course over 10 years ago. I remember enjoying the book when I read it then but I think I possibly enjoyed (and appreciated) it more this time around.
The Stone Diaries tells the story of Daisy Goodwill - an "ordinary" woman with a seemingly "ordinary" life - but Carol Shields has a way of making the ordinary seem really extraordinary. The books follows Daisy's life from birth in a rural Canadian town in 1905 through her life, two marriages, 3 children and various homes. Sounds ordinary doesn't it?? I think this book is anything but ordinary. At times I don't really connect with the person Daisy is - perhaps it's a time/distance thing - but I want to keep reading her story. I'm connected to what is happening to her.
The book is written in a unique style, narrative interwoven with letters, newspaper clippings, diary entries and lists. These are techniques I really enjoy in novels - it opens up the story for me and brings in various perspectives which wouldn't come across in a one person narrative.
Carol Shields is an amazing author, I would recommend all of her books to people looking for seemingly everyday stories made extraordinary.