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The Ice Chorus [Kindle Edition]

Sarah Stonich
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $14.95
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

In this tender, elegantly told love story, Liselle flees her native Toronto for a small village on the Irish coast. As she slowly incorporates herself into the lives of the villagers, Liselle recreates the circumstances surrounding the bitter breakup of her 18-year marriage. While accompanying her workaholic husband on an archaeological dig in Mexico she met Charlie, a gifted painter. When he mounts an exhibit of eight shockingly intimate portraits, she is forced to make a decision. 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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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 Wilkinson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 566 KB
  • Print Length: 328 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0316815551
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Wordstalkers (August 4, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001T4YX5O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lovely Slip of A Novel April 13, 2005
As a Minnesota author (Suomalaiset: People of the Marsh; Cloquet River Press, 2004; ISBN 0972005064) who enjoys quality literary fiction, I would recommend this latest offering from another Minnesota writer. The tale is tightly woven, psychologically filling, and well drawn. Lise, the protagonist, is someone that you'll want to walk the misty beaches of Ireland's Atlantic Coast with, share a spot of tea with, and ultimately, try to understand. Surrounded by a likeable and elegently crafted supporting cast, the book isn't one that will keep you up at nights pondering "who done it". But it will make you step back and take stock of what you have, who you are, and where you came from. A wonderfully taut and brisk read.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
The Ice Chorus is a retelling of events that shaped the life of the main character Liselle. We find her in Ireland as she tries to rebuild her life. Through her memories and conversations we find out the results of many of her life's decisions. She has fallen in love with another man and her marriage is in shambles. Her seventeen-year-old son communicates with her but we are certain that this relationship is damaged as well. With no other recourse perceived she travels to Ireland and awaits Charlie, the passionate artist who taught her to enjoy life and celebrate the beauty that she does not see for herself.

As she rediscovers herself she rediscovers her deceased father's past and the secrets that were taken to the grave only to be rediscovered by Liselle. We live life through her eyes and witness vibrant flashbacks and snippets of conversation that often lead us into a dance with her emotions. We can see how and why she has changed and now we will find out where she will go from this point forward.

This book can be deemed poetic storytelling or even a journal of sorts. It is told in a way that will inspire you to live the moment and paint what you have seen. There are so many ideas and emotions that make up this "spiritual paint" but at the conclusion you can see that Liselle has grown even more than she could have imagined as she discovers the truth.

Reviewed by Tyrone Vincent Banks of Betsie's Literary Page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What is Love? .... March 20, 2005
I was delighted by the storytelling woven into the lives of the

characters. Each characters story blends to an insight of

of their lives past and present.

The Old Irish legends of Love, characters finding love, love leaving,....and beginning again...all bringing to light the

love we all wish to have. Love of Family
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite novel set in Mexico and Ireland September 18, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Finished Sarah Stonich's "The Ice Chorus" last night. Superb novel, terrific in more ways than I can count but chief among them is Stonich's way with a story and language as well as the settings: Mexico's Yucatan peninsula and Ireland. Great book for sea-lovers, too. Stonich's first novel is a great read, too: "These Granite Islands" (love that title).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One for the shelf September 15, 2009
The Ice Chorus is one of my favorite novels. Maybe it's the alternating backdrop of a scorching Mexican beach and the cool, stony cliffs of Ireland. Perhaps it's the tragic love story shot through a lens shrouded in misinterpretation and family secrets. More likely it's the tightly-woven plot and multi-layered characters. This is one I'll re-read every few years and tuck safely on my shelf.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lise's Awakening September 27, 2010
This one didn't touch me quite like These Granite Islands because I couldn't warm up to some of the characters. BUT---when I read the epilogue I found myself snorking and snuffling and wiping the tears from my cheeks, wondering how Sarah Stonich managed to do that to me again.
It was the Irish characters that got to my heart. The love and loyalty between Remy and Maggie Conner is enviable, and was so sweetly portrayed. And you can't help loving their granddaughter Siobhan for her sass and spunky determination.

The book alternates between the past in Mexico and the present in Ireland, with a little bit of Toronto tossed in between the two.
We first meet Lise as she arrives on the Irish coast to start a new life. Her marriage to Stephen has dissolved, and she is estranged from her teenaged son Adam. She meets the locals, begins to settle in, and then flashes back on the affair she had in Mexico with a Welsh painter named Charlie Lowan.

I never really connected with Charlie's character, and I'm not sure I even liked him. But by the end of the book I could appreciate what he had done for Lise. In his desire to know her--all of her--he teaches her about true intimacy, which she never experienced in 18 years of marriage. Charlie's questions force her to confront the truth about her marriage, herself, and her father's early death.

I thought Lise made a real hash of it when she realized she had to drastically change her life. Her behavior was foolish, and unfair to her husband and son. I liked her a lot better, though, as she relaxed into her new life in Ireland. It seemed like she was softening up and blossoming as she allowed her new friends to see her authentic self. They open up to her as she films them telling their stories, and in turn she feels safe enough to share her own secrets.

Once again, gorgeous writing with an artist's eye for detail, just as in Stonich's first novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully artistic and unique September 25, 2009
At its most basic, The Ice Chorus is a story about a woman named Liselle who had an affair, and has travelled to Ireland to get away from her life. She's just gotten divorced from her husband, and her teenage son won't speak to her for more than a minute. The story unfolds moving from the present through flashbacks to show Liselle's life and how she met the man she loves, and how her relationship with her family changes, and how she ends up in the middle of nowhere on the Irish coast, asking other people how they fell in love, and documenting it all on film. That's a brief description of the plot. A very brief description, because The Ice Chorus is quite obviously more than just the plot.

The cover of the book has a quote which says: "Any woman who ever had her heart cracked open by a man should read The Ice Chorus." But I completely disagree. I don't think having had your heart cracked is a requirement. I think every woman in general should read it (and men too). Yes it deals with love, and loss, and heartbreak; but it deals with more than just those emotions. It shows the fragility of women and the raw hurt of loss, but it also shows the immense strength all women possess, and the unexplainable bond of love.

I can't rave enough about Sarah Stonich and her writing; it's just that amazing. The characters are real, and the emotions are heartbreaking and true. She captures these stories and people in a beautifully unique and impossibly artistic way.

A million stars. Read it. And read her first book, These Granite Islands, too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars but not as good as her other
Well done, but not as good as her other novels
Published 1 month ago by dianne sichel
3.0 out of 5 stars Difficult
Wow it took a long time to actually relate with the characters, was ready to give up in the middle of the story but since I'm not a quieter, I persevered and can say it was worth... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok
Long and can be hard to follow. Not my favorite book! Not much plot. Could not stay very interested in story!
Published on November 12, 2012 by Sandra Pegan
1.0 out of 5 stars Arch and clumsy
Ms. Stonich is more interested in pretty writing than in creating multi-dimensional, believable characters. It makes the book stilted and slow. Not recommended.
Published on May 26, 2012 by Aristophanes
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and Illustrative
Sarah Stonich has quite a way with words--the way she describes colors and light and people's emotions had me feeling like I was there on the Irish coast/Mexico. Read more
Published on May 17, 2012 by myrtleturtle
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
When I first started to read this I was sure about the book, but then as I got further into it and loved the characters and how they all interacted with each other. Read more
Published on April 20, 2012 by Arizona Gal
5.0 out of 5 stars Ice Chorus review
I truly loved this book. I could relate to the characters not just because I am an artist married to an archaeologist but because Sarah was able to bring the characters to life in... Read more
Published on April 17, 2012 by Mother Buck
5.0 out of 5 stars Love
What a great read! Lise the main charactor, has big struggles. Fome Charlie to Adam to her husband. I really enjoyed this book. When you are reading it its like your there. Read more
Published on March 3, 2012 by Reader1982
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I really enjoyed this book. I am not a fan of chicklit but this stayed away from being overly romantic whilst still being a good love story. Read more
Published on February 27, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful writing!
I'd give this book a ten! The writing is hauntingly beautiful, almost lyrical, and the story unfolds in such an interesting way I cried at the end. Read more
Published on February 26, 2012 by Sue Palmer
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More About the Author

Sarah Stonich is the author of internationally acclaimed "Vacationland" and the novels "These Granite Islands", and "The Ice Chorus", stories which have left their marks on readers around the world. The paperpback version of "The Ice Chorus" is now available. Her memoir "Shelter" came out to rave reviews and won the NEMBA award. Visit for more
From Sarah:
My latest book is a bit of a departure for me, a volume of interconnected stories, Vacationland. The main character is a crumbling resort - currently occupied by the immigrant builder's granddaughter - a 40-ish painter who's come "home" after her divorce. Various visitors to the place tell its history over a span of 40 years, weaving around the place with a just a degree or two of separation between each character. I'm now writing American River - a family saga spanning three generations.
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