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Love of a Stonemason (Family Portrait. Vol. 2) Paperback – July 24, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Family Portrait
  • Paperback: 446 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 24, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1453662286
  • ISBN-13: 978-1453662281
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,411,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

As a reader, I always enjoy finding out about "the story behind the story" of a work of literature. So, I decided to share some background about my novel Love of a Stonemason.

The initial trigger was an intense personal experience. At the end of 2005, I lost my mother and found myself to be the sole survivor of our immediate family in Switzerland, my only sister and my father having died earlier. Death and its impact--the pain of loss and loneliness--play an important in the life of the main character in the novel.

During that time, I spent several months in Switzerland, cleaning out our family home, getting it ready to be renovated. I came across my father's early paintings--he was an artist as a young man. I talked to a stonemason and sculptor about the tombstone on my parent's grave. That gave me the idea for my main characters and their professions. I spent time with my relatives in the Ticino, the Italian canton of Switzerland, so the Vallemaggia became the central location. My trips to Peru and Italy also found their way into the novel.

The final product was a completely fictional story. While writing Love of a Stonemason, I was rarely conscious of any one particular person, incidence or experience which influenced me. Some of it came to me much later. I had many "aha"-moments half-way into the novel or even after it was finished. One of the most fascinating aspects of the creative process is the way consciousness and the unconscious work together to produce something unique and new.

About the Author

Born and raised in Switzerland, Christa Polkinhorn has always had the desire to explore the world outside of her beautiful but tiny country. As a young woman, she traveled through Europe, came to the United States on an exchange program, and ended up staying. Her travels led her to China and Japan as well as South America. She studied literature and linguistics in Zurich and California. Now, she lives and works as writer and translator in southern California and divides her time between the United States and her native Switzerland. The tension and excitement this “double life” creates informs her literary work. Most of her novels take place in several countries. Aside from writing and traveling, Christa is an avid reader and a lover of the arts and dark chocolate.

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Customer Reviews

This was a tale of loss, love, and life told beautifully by Christa.
Kris
The characters, scenery and happenings in the book really came alive for me and I felt like I was watching and feeling Karla and Andreas through the full book.
Crystal Fulcher
The author weaves the threads of her story into a beautiful tapestry.
Linda Cassidy Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Misty Baker VINE VOICE on September 10, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was in therapy the other day (aka web-surfing for mindless crap) and ran across a quote that sent off a flare in my mind. For the past couple of days I have been reading Christa Polkinhorn's debut novel "Love of a Stonemason" and try as I might, I couldn't peg a witty or otherwise enchanting way of wording its message, and then I ran into this...

"I don't pretend to know what love is for everyone, but I can tell you what it is for me; love is knowing all about someone, and still wanting to be with them more than any other person, love is trusting them enough to tell them everything about yourself, including the things you might be ashamed of, love is feeling comfortable and safe with someone, but still getting weak knees when they walk into a room and smile at you."

This is exactly what Polkinhorn's novel is all about, the struggle to overcome your demons and let love flood in.

Karla is an artist, but like most magicians with a canvas her talents come at a cost. At the age of 5 Karla lost her mother, and with it went her peace. Andreas is also an artist, but instead of painting he carves tombstones. Both have issues, both are looking for closure, and in a ironic turn of fate (or an inability to look where they are going) they are about to meet, but will their instant connection be enough to keep them together? With depression, and anger waiting in the wings Karla and Andreas are forced to make a decision... face their pasts together, or live their hells alone.

A few days ago I was dreading having to write this review. I was 20% in and bored (which is never a good sign) but luckily my inability to toss a book (regardless of how crappy) kicked in and I pushed through. I'm very glad I didn't give up.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By bandcandy on August 17, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For me, the best of this book was the artistic journey through Europe and beyond and the author's genuine understanding of what it is to be an artist. In Karla, the painter, we are presented with a flawed but complex character. Andreas,the stonemason, likewise has his own demons to fight; however, I found the book more psychologically interesting because both the main characters are battling with the problems of their own personalities as well as their challenging life-experiences. This is a book for a weekend, a holiday or a winter's evening when you really want something to get your teeth into.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mirjam on June 5, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
When the young talented painter, Karla Bocelli, almost gets hit by a speeding car, she receives a painful reminder of that fateful accident in her childhood, which robbed her of her mother and made her a semi-orphan. The fact that the driver of the car is a stonemason and sculptor, who carves tombstones for a living, doesn't exactly lift Karla's spirits. The fateful initial encounter sets the stage for a turbulent and passionate relationship. "Love of a Stonemason" takes the reader on a journey of the heart from Switzerland to Italy and Peru. It is rich with sensuous details and vibrant colors. As we watch Karla and Andreas struggle with their past, their creativity and their feelings for each other, we root for them and hope that they succeed. A heartwarming and fascinating story. I can highly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Cornboy on May 6, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Christa Polkinhorn's debut takes the reader on a journey of the heart across several lands. Vivid portraits of Europe and South America will sweep you to those exotic locales and have you experiencing the vibrancy of different cultures. But the heart of the story is the love between a man and woman, with all the challenges and triumphs, successes and failures, as well as the creative journeys of the two main characters. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Crystal Fulcher VINE VOICE on December 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
The first thing that went through my mind when I finished this book on Friday night was simply "Wow". I felt like I had been told a full story and while I wanted more of Karla and Andreas at the end, the story really was complete. I don't know when was the last time I truly felt that when I finished a book. Ms. Polkinhorn did a magnificient job crafting this story and getting it on the page. The characters, scenery and happenings in the book really came alive for me and I felt like I was watching and feeling Karla and Andreas through the full book.

How to classify this book - I first thought it sounded like a romance, but after finishing it, I would say it is more general fiction. Romance is key, Karla and Andreas' relationship is very key to the book. But most romance novels stop after dating and marriage usually, sometimes with glimpses of family life if there are several books in a series. The beauty of Ms. Polkinhorn's novel is that it continues through the years after they marry and delves much deeper into the characters of Karla and Andreas as they tackle the new ups and downs of marriage, of their art and of family.

Love of a Stonemason never lags in plot. Whether you are looking into depression, the ups of a great art career, the separation (distance-wise) of Andreas and Karla, starting a family, all of this flowed together so well and made a great story. I was never bored and wondering when something good would happen. It was all interesting and attention getting. It's as edge-of-your-seat as a non-thriller work can get. I was always wondering what would happen next, what aspect of life would be shown.

The realism is beautiful too. Love of a Stonemason truly shows the ups and downs of life, love and family.
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