From Publishers Weekly
Here's an Irish-style yarn: a woman of many nicknames meets an artist "considered ugly by most," has a paint-splattered affair with him and then finds comfort in exile at an unhandsome ocean house in Ireland. Stonich (These Granite Islands
) pays homage to the Irish storytelling tradition in this sophisticated and fully realized tale of love and forgiveness. Lise is an amateur documentary filmmaker from Canada who loses herself in other people's stories. Having fled to Ireland after her affair ended her marriage and earned her the resentment of her 17-year-old son, Lise documents the stories of the inhabitants of the place where she lives, far from "postcard Ireland, just a small town at low tide." Here she waits for the artist, Charlie, to come to her and rekindle the love they discovered during their whirlwind affair on a trip to Mexico. Amid all this storytelling, Lise allows memories of her philandering father, who died young, to permeate her consciousness. The love story between Lise and Charlie, told in flashbacks, is rose-tinted, but provides a welcome respite from the stark realism of Lise's adjustment to rural Ireland. Midlife renewal and the power of art to transform life are celebrated in this bittersweet tale.
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In this tender, elegantly told love story, Liselle flees her native Toronto for a small village on the coast of Ireland. As she slowly incorporates herself into the lives of the villagers, Liselle re-creates the circumstances surrounding the bitter breakup of her 18-year marriage. When she accompanied her workaholic husband on an archaeological dig in Mexico, she met Charlie, a gifted painter. Their intense affair prompts her realization of how she has avoided intimacy ever since she found her father dead and discovered that he had led a double life during her teen years. Although she is now aware of the many ways she has settled for less in her life and marriage, she is slow to act. Then Charlie mounts an art exhibit consisting of eight shockingly intimate portraits of her, forcing her to make a decision. Stonich effortlessly conjures multiple vivid settings and uncommonly interesting characters even as she moves seamlessly between the past and the present. A subtle, lovely evocation of the transforming power of love. Joanne WilkinsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved