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Water, Stone, Heart: A Novel Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 28, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (April 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307451615
  • ASIN: B005DI9DW0
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

North (The Long Walk Home) exploits the 2004 flood of Boscastle, England, in this saggy romantic novel of two damaged people who find each other amid tragedy. Andrew Stratton and Nicola Rhys-Jones are both divorced Americans who end up in the U.K. for different reasons. Andrew, a professor of architecture, is drawn by a longstanding idea he has about livable places that takes on new importance after his wife leaves him. In Cornwall, Andrew falls in love with the place, and with Nicola, an artist who has left an abusive marriage to a wealthy Englishman and is skittish around men. The two engage in a wary flirtation, both thinking it'll go nowhere, but then the freak storm hits, and the people Andrew has come to care about are imperiled. As Andrew works to save the village, he learns about the nature and longing of his own heart. Unfortunately, the narrative moves at a glacial pace, and the author's sentimental leanings can be hard to take. The love story has some great moments, but these aren't enough to overpower the flood of treacle and lethargic storytelling. (Apr.)
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From Booklist

Architect Andrew Stratton does not build or design; he studies and teaches at the University of Pennsylvania. After his wife leaves him, he feels as though he is made of stone and is only animated when talking about his latest theory of livable communities constructed with local material on a human scale that fosters the feeling of home. His department derides his proposal, leaving him at loose ends, so Andrew decides to take a two-week course in hedge building in the small town of Boscastle in Cornwall, England. He enjoys the land, the sense of community, and the people, especially Lee, a precocious nine-year-old. Lee is an old soul in a young body who introduces Andrew to the countryside and her best friend, the very-grown-up Nicola Rhys-Jones. Andrew and Nicola are two damaged souls who may hold on to each other if they can let go of the past and survive what nature has in store for them and the town. North deftly creates an enchanting and touching love story reminiscent of those by Nicholas Sparks. --Patty Engelmann

More About the Author

"Will North" is the pseudonym for fiction for an award-winning non-fiction American author. My first novels, "The Long Walk Home" and "Water, Stone, Heart," received enthusiastic reviews nationwide and have been published in many foreign languages. They're both set in Britain and I think they are best described as love stories for grownups. They're both about second chances at love in midlife. My latest novel, "Seasons' End," is also a love story, but a somewhat darker one, and is set on an island in Puget Sound, Washington. Over the course of a long career I have held several important posts, but all involved writing. My last "real job" was in an appointed position in the administration of President Jimmy Carter. Reagan fired me as soon as he was inaugurated. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, because it set me on my book writing career. I never looked back.

If the complexities of human relationships matter to you, if you long for stories about real life and people trying to find happiness despite sometimes desperate circumstances, the Will North novels are meant for you. My fans have written that the books changed their lives and gave them courage and hope.

Customer Reviews

From the first page to the last the story is captivating.
timama
Water,,,,Stone, Heart is a wonderful story about a man and woman in mid-life searching for themselves and finding love along the way.
Judy Johnson
The writing is very good, characters well developed - you actually care about them.
C. Gooch

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By J. Goldsmith on July 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Prepare to be transported to the Cornwall village of Boscastle where time passes slowly and friendships are eternal. This delightful tale will mesmerize and entrance. Will North's books are addicting with each new book being better than the rest! Once you finish the book, take some time to do some research on the Internet about the Boscastle flood of 2004. The devastation was terrible. Much of the area has since been restored so that each reader can compare his/her own mental image of the area known as Cornwall with the reality.
A gentle and endearing story featuring many types of love.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Linda Hyman on May 14, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I became a big fan of Will North with his first novel, "The Long Walk Home." I loved this his second novel too. His characters are so endearing and the story an intricate mix of information about Cornwall, England, sexual abuse and the art of stone/hedge building. I could not put this book down. Finished it at Midnight despite having work the next day! A super Summer/Beach read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover Kris on June 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved the setting for Water, Stone, Heart. Will North does a good job with the details and I have always been a fan of books set in English countrysides. It made me want to go there to visit. I liked his first novel as well. I always enjoy getting to know the different characters and the relationships they share. I would recommend this book.

Kris
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Claudia A. Myers on July 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought Will North's first book "The Long Walk Home" and loved it. I read to be entertained and feel good when I am done with the novel. Heart Water Stone was even better. I loved the characters and their ethics of right and wrong. It was also a nice change to have characters that were not young adults but middle age and open to love and to find it. I can't wait for another of his books to come out. I know that I will reread both of these books and I have raved about them to my girl friends. This book would also make a good read for those of you that belong to a book club. Thanks Will for giving me hours of reading pleasure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Sherberg on August 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Water, Stone, Heart...couldn't put it down! Will North took me to Boscastle, showed me the beauty of the land, introduced me to fabulous folks, my favorite has to be Lilly, AKA Lee, AKA Miss Guess What! Nicola & Andrew are fun and charming and couldn't we all be so fortunate as to have a Sir Michael in our lives?? An ex-father-in-law who not only knows but acknowledges his son's evil acts! Stir into the brew the mystical magical Witchcraft shop and the casting aside of old demons..L' Chaim! A must read! I missed Will North's debut into fiction by way of The Long Walk Home. Be sure to also look up Boscastle, the actual flood, the town info. I am off to my next read, by my newest, latest, greatest, favorite author...Will North!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Leger on September 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Each time I picked up Will North's Water, Stone, Heart, I had a smile on my face because I was about to be transported to the English countryside in 2004 to follow the lives of some wonderful characters, notably Lee (a meadow elfin and the best child fictional character I have ever encountered). Lee's relationships with her neighbours and her environment enchanted me. The description of the flood and acts of heroism were gripping. I intend to read every book Will North writes, and thank him dearly for this one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bella Rosa VINE VOICE on May 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
but for 40-somethings, Andrew and Nicola are a bit pathetic. I think Andrew's a bit of a "Gary Stu," actually - from staid professor (who's not even known to jog) to acclaimed stone wall builder in a week, without even benefit of ibuprofen! And he gets the girl!

Wish I'd seen the back cover first - I'd have been warned off by the fervent comparisons to Nicholas Sparks and Robert James Waller.
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Format: Hardcover
North makes few demands in this novel, essentially a simple tale of two broken people who meet on the wild Cornish coast, spar with one another and learn the art of forgiveness, of self and others. A year earlier, when Philadelphia professor of architectural theory Andrew Stratton is confronted with his wife's demand for a divorce, he is stunned and hurt. Filled with self-doubt, his ego crushed, Stratton impulsively registers for a class on the ancient art of wall building in Boscastle, England. The week-long class offers Stratton an opportunity to explore his pet theory, "the harmony of livable places" and absent himself from the lonely existence he has endured for the past year.

Boscastle is a charming village that reflects the endurance of time and place, the modern world seeming far away. Enchanted by the nine-year-old daughter of his landlord, Andrew allows the girl to serve as his village guide. Delighted with Boscastle's eccentric characters and the historical ambience of this unique place, Stafford is taken aback- and fascinated- when he meets the acerbic Nicola Rhys-Jones, a divorced American ex-pat artist who paints in her Boscastle loft. Nicola and Andrew begin a prickly repartee that serves as a buffer to their mutual attraction. Nicola has her own painful past, more complicated that Andrew anticipates. (North's novel is, above all else, a love story.)

Filled with eccentric characters, it is easy to transport the entire village backwards through time, to endow them with the particularities of another century as the lovers circle one another, carefully testing boundaries. One might be tempted to imbue Stratton with Heathcliffian sensibilities, but he inhabits in the real world and must find his way through the emotional detritus of his past: "Every stone he lifted...
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