Summary: In the small town of Stone Creek, a random encounter offers two lonely people a chance at happiness.
Danny, a young widower, still grieves for his late wife, but for the sake of his five-year-old son, Caleb, he knows he must move on. Alone in her summer house, Lily has left her workaholic husband, Paul, to his long hours and late nights back in the city. In Stone Creek, she can yearn in solitude for the treasure she's been denied: a child.
What occurs when Lily and Danny meet is immediate and undeniable—despite Lily being ten years older and married. But ultimately it is little Caleb's sadness and need that will tip the scales, upsetting a precarious balance between joy and despair, between what cannot happen...and what must.
An unforgettable novel of tremendous emotional heft, Stone Creek brilliantly illuminates how the powers of love and loss transform the human heart. -- Harper Collins
A few months ago, Book Club Girl gave some of her readers a copy of STONE CREEK by Victoria Lustbader to read over the Memorial Day Weekend -- I was fortunate enough to snag a copy. Of course I wanted to read it back then, but I just never got around to it. I placed it in my TBR pile with the intention of reading it over the summer, so I was very excited when Book Club Girl announced that her July BlogTalk Radio Show was going to be STONE CREEK. Because I love these author interviews, I now had a goal to finish it before the show. It really wasn't a problem because I thoroughly enjoyed this novel!
I did enjoy the romance aspect of this story (which I can't always say about these types of books) and I found a few of the scenes to be very hot! However, I found the loss and healing parts of this novel to be my favorite parts. I have no experience with losing someone that I love like Danny did, but his feelings and actions seemed very real to me. I could, however, definitely relate to Lily's infertility problems; and I found these descriptions to be quite accurate. Lily's response when she saw young children reminded me so much of how I felt everytime I saw a baby or found out that a friend was expecting -- it wasn't that I wished bad on them or wasn't truly happy for them, but it was still difficult to accept. My heart went out to both Danny and Lily; and even though I don't condone infidelity, I felt some satisfaction that both of these characters found comfort in each other.
This is the first book that I've read by Ms. Lustbader, but it won't be the last. I really enjoyed her writing style, and I thought the book flowed very nicely. I was especially impressed with her development of the characters in this book -- they all seemed very real (and very human) to me. Each of their stories touched my heart, and they have remained in my thoughts for days after finishing the novel. I find myself thinking about them and what happens to them after the pages of this book. I loved, loved, loved Danny (and I really want to know if he ever finds true happiness!) In fact, I ended up finding redeeming qualities in all of the characters in this story, even those that I thought I wouldn't like! Lily's husband, Paul, should have been someone that I couldn't stand; however, I found myself sympathizing with his character and even understanding some of his actions because of his complex situation.
This book isn't like anything my book club has read in recent years; however, I do think it would make a good book club pick. My book club doesn't usually read and talk about books dealing with romantic love, but I definitely think we would enjoy discussing the characters' relationships, the different types of adultery, and especially the loss aspect of this novel. I really liked that the paperback edition includes the reading guide in the back. I always think it's nice when the entire book club can go over the questions before the meeting and begin to think about their answers. In addition, there is a very interesting Q&A with Ms. Lustbader included in the paperback edition of the book.
I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Ms. Lustbader discuss her book on BlogTalk Radio last night -- she was very interesting and entertaining too. If you would like to hear the discussion, you can listen to it here. I always find that hearing an author discuss her book gives me further insight into the novel, and this was no exception. While I did like the book before this "author chat," I ended up liking the book even more after hearing Ms. Lustbader talk about the characters. I was very interested in why Ms. Lustbader chose to write this story in 3rd person narrative (it seemed like 1st person narrative by Danny and/or Lily might have been another way to approach this story.) She gave a terrific answer saying that the book wasn't about just one character -- she had to tell everyone's story. She also wanted to be able express things about each character that they maybe wouldn't be able to express about themselves.
I just want to take this opportunity to thank Book Club Girl for hosting these radio shows. I look forward to participating in these "author interviews" each month, and I anxiously await the announcements of her future shows. If you haven't participated in (or even listened to) one of these yet, you really should -- they are great!
I received two copies of this book, and I'd love to share one with you! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your e-mail address. If you'd like to double your chances, just mention it on your blog with a link back here. The contest will be open until July 31st at 11:59 p.m. (it's a little longer this time because I'll be at the shore for a few days next week.) Unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to those of you who live in the U.S. and Canada. Good Luck!
Also reviewed at:
Age 30 - A Year in Books