Sarah Stonich – These Granite Islands
- Sarah Stonich
- These Granite Islands
- Pocket Books (Simon & Schuster)
- Publication date:
- Book design:
- Fearn Cutler de Vicq
- Synopsis (via):
- On her deathbed, Isobel – hat maker, wife, and mother – recalls the haunting and fateful summer of 1936 when her world was transformed. After her husband Victor takes their sons away for the summer to a remote island, Isobel meets Cathryn, a woman who will forever change the way she looks at life. An intimate story of friendship, a portrait of marriage, and a glimpse into the depths of loss, the events of this summer become the prism that refracts the essence of Isobel’s life. This is a gorgeous debut, a true literary page-turner.
- From Amazon UK: From her hospital bed, 99-year-old Isobel Howard recalls her unexpected friendship with Cathryn, a childless, Chicago-born heiress who shunned her family, attended art school and married an Irishman with no pedigree. During the summer of 1936, the women find themselves alone in Cypress, MN, a mining town on the edge of a glacier-fed lake. Isobel is the wife of a tailor, mother of three young children and a milliner by training. He husband, Victor has taken their two boys away to an island he has purchased–an extravagance that has become a sore point in their marriage. Left behind with her quiet daughter, Louisa, Isobel revives her interest in hatmaking. During their shared days, Cathryn introduces Isobel to literature, art and a more cosmopolitan view of life, ultimately making Isobel an accomplice to the affair she is having with a local forest ranger. But there is a darker side to this idyll, and as the elderly Isobel reflects on the ensuing events, it is clear that this summer has exacted a heavy price. Sticklers for logic may question some turns of the story, and Stonich’s prose has an eye for exquisite detail, opening up into atmospherically rendered, 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.