Quality fiction is still being written, don't get me wrong, but the subject matter has shifted. It's all about dystopian worlds, fantasy worlds, and the real (REALLY real) world and its more difficult themes: violence, rape, bullying, isolation.
That's one of the reasons I'm so thrilled to recommend Story Stones, a book just published by Thea Gammans. Years and years in the making, this novel harkens back to the themes and structure of the literary classics I adore. Mary Cleary is a spunky and likable heroine whose fish-out-of-water story will keep young girls turning pages, under the covers with a flashlight, late into the night. It's a really, really beautiful book.
The other reason I'm so thrilled to share this book with you is because it was written by grandmother (SQUEEEE!) (who has more books where this came from, by the way). At 85 years old, she can now add published author to her (long) list of achievements (attending Radcliffe, mother of 11, Nashville songwriter, world traveler, real estate maven, and did I mention MOTHER OF ELEVEN?). It's about time the world knows about this amazing woman.
If you have a young daughter, or you yourself love a warm, wonderful and delightfully easy read - please buy a copy of Story Stones. It's about $7 on Amazon ($5 on the Kindle) and worth a great deal more. Then tell me and everyone you know how much you loved it, okay?
Here's a quick synopsis:
Even though she has been promised a grand education in America, twelve year-old Mary Cleary does not want to leave Ballydare to live with Delia, an aunt she has never met. “Tis a heart of stone Delia Reardon must have not to write her own mother,” the neighbors have whispered. Even Uncle Pat doesn’t know why his older sister left Ireland. But Gran insists that she go. Determined to make peace in the family Mary arrives in Boston. But on her first morning, dressed in a maid’s uniform and holding a dust rag, she listens to this aunt explain the finer points of housekeeping and wonders, “Is this the grand education I’ve been promised?”