Thursday, July 24, 2008

Review: Stone Creek and Giveaway

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

34 comments:

nbbaker1102 said...

This book sounds great and I'd love to win a copy.

nbbaker1102@msn.com

Thanks!

Cheryl said...

I have seen this book around and wanted to read it. This is the first review I have read about it and it was great. Please enter me and I blogged about it. Thanks

clbstitch at yahoo dot com

Laura said...

I would love to win. This book is on my TBR list. Thanks for the contest.

lauraknight@comcast.net

Lisa said...

Pleae enter me in your drawing. Thanks!

Melsy626 said...

I would love to be entered, thanks for the great give away!!!

I've posted about this on my blog:
http://melsysplace.blogspot.com/2008/07/book-give-aways.html

Thanks again!!! :)

Melsy626 (at) gmail (dot) com

Heather J. said...

Hi Julie! You don't need to enter me, I just wanted to give you the link to my review. I was surprised as how much I liked this book!

bookworm said...

This looks like an AWESOME book, I'd love to read it. Please enter me for this! Thanks!

traveler said...

Your wonderful review and description sounds so appealing. I would enjoy this novel and appreciate the characters. Thanks for this giveaay.

anne said...

This unique and delightful book would be a pleasure to read this summer. Am enthralled with it already.

ruth said...

Thanks for this excellent preview and choice. My husband's untimely death last summer was too early to read this novel but now would be an ideal time.

pearl said...

I enjoyed reading about your feelings for this special novel. It is certainly not one to miss. Thanks for including this in your wonderful blog.

ellie said...

Your review was entrancing. I love this book and will definitely be reading it. Cannot miss a winner like this. Great review and thanks.

diane said...

I enjoyed your amazing review for Stone Creek. An old fashioned and delightful story which I should not miss. Thanks.

Janel said...

This book sounds great, I'd love to win it. Thanks for giving it away!

Dar said...

The interview last night was great Julie. I really enjoyed it also. I don't want to enter the contest as I already have the book-just wanted to comment. Great post!

Jersey Shore Deb said...

I'd love to win this book. It sounds good, and definitely something my book group might want to read.
ruthsgirl61@yahoo.com

kamewh said...

Sounds like there are some interesting characters in the book- I would love to read it!

alissa said...

A compelling novel which I would enjoy. Thanks for this wonderful giveaway.

Sassy Mama Bear said...

I would love a chance to win this book.
Penelope Anne of Mama Bear Reads
sassylucylootoo(at)yahoo(dot)com

I have also posted about this at my Book Review blog: http://bookwormsballroom.blogspot.com/2008/07/current-giveaways-at-mama-bear-reads.html
If interested enter my current contests, one ends today.

Stacie said...

Pick me! Pick me! I have had this on my to read list too!
Staciele@netins.net

Carol said...

I've heard that this book is really good! I would love to win a copy! Thank you!

mittens0831 AT aol DOT com

Kara said...

Like you, I have been meaning to read this book for awhile now. Glad that you found the time - and what an great review. I'd love to win this copy.

ktulanko at aol dot com

blueviolet said...

This sounds like a book that might offer more to me than just casual entertainment. I'd very much like to read it.

Anita Yancey said...

Sounds like my kind of book. Would love to read it. Please enter me, and thanks.
ayancey@dishmail.net

windycindy said...

Hi, The title of the book and its' cover seem very serene. He comes there with a huge loss and she comes with emptiness and a heart for a child. I would love to read this story and see the outcome. Please enter me in your delight book drawing. Many thanks, Cindi
jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot]com

dh said...

This book sounds interesting.

Voyager459@aol.com

Icedream said...

I have been hearing so many good things about this book. I would love to be entered and I blogged about this giveaway at
http://readinginappalachia.blogspot.com/
Thanks!

heatherlo said...

I'd love to win! Here's me blogging about this: http://heatherlo.wordpress.com/2008/07/27/an-award-some-giveaways/

photoquest said...

I would love to be entered into your contest, I put this on my wish list as soon as i saw it advertised, I've heard alot of good things about this book! Please put my name into the drawing. photoquest(at)bellsouth(dot)net

Ramya said...

hey.. i'd love to win a copy of this book.. do enter my name for the giveaway!
f2000501(at)yahoo(dot)com

Serena said...

I'd love to be entered into this contest! Thanks!

Anna said...

Please enter me! I'd love to read this! Thanks!

--Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

anna_begood (at) hotmail (dot) com

L Benson said...

I would really enjoy a quite day at home reading a book like this!
Thanks=)
Luvdaylilies at bellsouth dot net

Shana said...

Thanks for the giveaway, Julie. I blogged about it HERE.

Hope you enjoyed your time at the shore!