More reviews from readers on Goodreads.
"Many days, I’m convinced there’s no more intractable misunderstanding than the current urban-rural divide, so I reveled in the depictions of rural life in Sarah Stonich‘s Laurentian Divide....explodes stereotypes in favor of these communities’ whorled particularities. For all that small towns have grown to symbolize what’s problematic, Stonich showed me towns like my own: no longer the geographically and socially isolated enclaves they might have been but populated by people who are, like anywhere else, constantly negotiating their differences within the concentric rings of personal, family, regional, and national identity." The Millions
"Thanks to Stonich’s keen depictions, this is a small town peopled with actual people: diverse individuals united by a common experience of place...Everybody comes from somewhere, and when that somewhere is rural, there’s a whorled particularity to the story. Laurentian Divide transports attention to a “scrap of near-nowhere” because “life isn’t something that happens to you—how you choose to react to what happens is life.” Forward Reviews
"Not lost in “Divide” is Stonich’s very special ability to develop a character, to show who they are in the everyday decisions they make. There are surely big moments in this story, but I found that the small ones were the revelations. There is in “Divide” an understanding of the bittersweet realities of life, an acceptance of the good and bad that comes with the simple act of living. I closed the book feeling the contagious contentment of the people on the pages, and that is quite a gift." Booklist
Fishing lands a former fishing pro out of her league as host of the first all-woman fishing-talk show on public television.
‘Poignant and honest, funny and wise... a novel to cherish. Populated with authentic and engaging characters, written with style and ease...delightfully witty.'Marrisa Stapley, author of Mating For Life.
'... the delicate balance of loving the crazy family you’ve been given, making a difference in the lives of others and knowing that even if it feels like it sometimes, we’re not in this life alone.' Minneapolis Star Tribune
'A laugh-out-loud debut.' Sarah Pekkanen, author of Things you Won't Say.
"...with storytelling gifts reminiscent of our most holy mother of the frozen north, Alice Munro, a similar flair for ferrying readers back in time for several pages, deepening our regard for a character, then softly dropping us back into the present without a moments confusion or jostling. ...As with Munro, things here are not what they seem beneath the surface, both metaphorically and literally, and Stonich delivers beautiful storytelling without ever resorting to sentimentality."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Crackling dialogue and smart turns of phrase."
"Stonich displays formidable narrative skill...each connected story is given its own true, clear voice. Vacationland is compelling, witty and nuanced, an in credibly enjoyable glimpse inside the worlds of seemingly disparate individuals. For fans of Richard Russo and Margaret Atwood, this is a brilliantly engaging novel, focusing on the power of memory, new discoveries and shared experiences.
Booklist (starred review)
"Showcasing Stonich's incredible talent and ability to insert humor and startling details into the narrative."
Kevin Wilson author of The Family Fang
"... funny, haunting, and heartbreaking, Stonich finds the universal in the specific, the deeply human in the parochial and peculiar."
Peter Bognanni, author of House of Tomorrow
"...compelling, witty, and nuanced, an incredibly enjoyable glimpse inside the worlds ofseemingly disparate individuals...A triumph."
"...with compassionate insight and a gift for artful observation...weave a deeply mined narrative of
place and people, elegiac, yet life affirming."
Kirkus (the LIFE-Cereal's Mikey of book reviews)
"Stonich's descriptions are gorgeous and detailed as a spider's web at dawn. Shelter is also a satisfying exploration of family, immigration and middle-age romance in the age of online dating services. Stonich's own connection to the same rugged earth is more conflicted...giving Shelter a humble and authentically Minnesotan glow."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Shelter is a keen-witted narrative, bound with choice metaphors, and sturdy verbs, such as "thrumming" and "anthropomorphized." In Shelter, I found a poetic memoir, a genealogical trip, and a picturesque travelogue that is absorbing to the last page."
Diana Nolan, Story Circle Book Reviews
"At times an adventure story, a sweet romance, and a laugh-out-loud monologue, Stonich's memoir is an ode to family, homeland and Mother Nature. Shelter is the kind of book that will cling determinedly to memories as a welcome stowaway on our own Northwoods pilgrimages."
Lindsay O'Brien, Duluth News Tribune
THESE GRANITE ISLANDS
"One of the joys of reading is coming across a book in which language is perfectly wedded to story."
Colum McCann, author of Let The Great World Spin
"Like a well-paced feast...the kind of book that instills a hunger for more. This is artful melodrama, with a constant sense of excavation of shadowy truths about love, friendship, and memory delecately unearthed."L. A. Times
...brisk dialogue and an assured plot...an appealing story about one womans transformation... Minneapolis STrib
"...atmospherically rendered, with carefully observed scenes. Stonich unfurls a complex, many-layered and suspenseful story; and, like Susan Minot and Anita Shreve, she handles flashbacks and contemporary details with equal precision.
"Unexpected and Moving." Chicago Tribune
"A lovely novel...only as Isobel lays dying does she begin to realize her own placid life had its own drama and daring - its own hot center." Boston Globe
THE ICE CHORUS
"Stonich effortlessly conjures multiple vivid settings and uncommonly interesting characters even as she moves seamlessly between the past and present. A subtle, lovely evocation of the transforming power of love.
"An aesthetic triumph with real heart."
" The Ice Chorus is one of those transporting novels that readers will inhabit as they're reading, and perhaps even replay the scenes that pack a particularly cinematic punch. In her unconventional second effort, Stonich has fully mastered the ability to build mood, creating a dreamy air of possibility that lingers."
Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Stonich pays homage to the tradition of Irish storytelling in this sophisticated and fully realized tale of love and forgiveness."
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