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Love of a Stonemason (Family Portrait. Vol. 2) Paperback


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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: #4,383,645 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

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 26 customer reviews
The author weaves the threads of her story into a beautiful tapestry.
Linda Cassidy Lewis
Love of a Stonemason truly shows the ups and downs of life, love and family.
Crystal Fulcher
I thought those concepts went very well with the characters as artists too.
jess c scott | splatpunk

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 Scott Nicholson 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 Linda Cassidy Lewis on May 15, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reading Christa Polkinhorn's Love of a Stonemason is an inner visual experience. Not only will you "see" locales in Switzerland, Peru, and Italy, but also, because her main characters are artists, you'll feel you've toured a gallery of paintings and sculpture.

Karla, the painter, and Andreas, the stonemason, meet in what at first appears to be a typical romance plot device, but it's not. These characters have depth, which the author portrays with sensitivity and realism. The darkness in their pasts threatens the relationship they form. Their torments and troubles drew me in. At times, I wanted to comfort them; at others, I wanted to smack Karla or shake Andreas.

Just when Karla finally faces the last of her demons and deals with it, Andreas' personal hell erupts with full force. Each time, as these characters stumbled, I thought I knew what would come next, but I rarely did.

The author weaves the threads of her story into a beautiful tapestry. This debut novel is a worthwhile read and almost doubles as a vacation escape. Well done.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By AlexD. on April 12, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
If you like love--and who doesn't?--you'll want to follow the journey of an artist and a mason, two creative souls who go through personal turmoil and triumph. Polkinhorn writes with real experience, bringing intimacy to a story that is international in scope but touchingly close and familiar.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kris on March 19, 2011
Format: Paperback
This was a tale of loss, love, and life told beautifully by Christa. The characters are a touching blend of imperfect and real.

The author's attention to detail is impecable and makes you feel as if you are traveling along with Karla and Andreas. It's one of those books to take you away.

I loved Christa's smooth writing style and ability to make me feel emotional throughout the story.

If you are looking for a tale that has a realistic representation of life and love then you may want to check his one out.
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