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Solace of Stone Paperback – March 7, 2013
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The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
"Solace of Stone" is an extraordinary story about life and love, filled with elements of drama, crime and mystery, and exploding with culture of the arts and music. The story takes place in various locations in Europe and in New York City, beginning in New York with the 'coincidental' meeting of George Noble and Charlotte Vermeer. (...) Will George and Charlotte find solace in their coincidental reunion? "Solace of Stone" is captivating and it leaves you with a lot to think about, even after you've finished reading. 5 stars. A must read!
Sheri Bebee for Reader Views (8/13)
a thought-provoking exploration of the meaning and value of life and love
The story is deeper than it appears on the surface, and that depth emerges subtly and strongly as the stories continue
IndieReader, January 2014
Foreword Clarion Reviews:
This beautifully described coming-of-age story serves as a rich and fascinating guide through Europe's cultural landscape. (...)
Beautifully realized descriptions of art, architecture, and music overwhelm in this atmosphere piece. (...)
...an exploration of meaningful human interaction.
Nobel and Vermeer are haunting characters, and their struggles to make sense of their lives and their places in the world stay with the reader.
Annie Peters Portland Book Review
About the Author
David de Wolf was born in The Netherlands and studied Dutch Language and History of Art at the University of Nijmegen. He graduated with a Master of Arts. Since then he has worked as journalist, tour guide in Italy and since 1995 independently as communications manager. In 2011, he moved to Israel and he now lives about 10 miles north of Tel Aviv. In 2013 he published Solace of Stone. His second novel is foreseen for the fall of next year.
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Top customer reviews
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Solace of Stone is not filled with action, so it didn’t grab my attention right at the beginning. It was a bit difficult to get into. But then my other curiosities and training kicked in. This is more a study of two people and their lives than it is a fast paced action packed thriller.
George Nobel is an architect who has lived in the shadows of his department head for way to long. He is married, but bored. He makes a decent wage and doesn’t really have to worry about bills, but that doesn’t mean his life is good. He has enough to worry about.
In working on his education he lied and committed an act of theft that would leave most of us dumbfounded. He took a museum document and changed it so that it would match the conclusions of his thesis rather than disprove his thesis. This was a form of deception and lie that would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Charlotte Vermeer is an art historian who loves most of her work but struggles with life. She is fed up with a long term relationship and has kicked him out. She finds that even the cities that she is sent to are alluring until she gets there and then the devolve into the hum drum of life and become secondary if not just down right boring.
She is emotionally damaged. She tries to find solace in the arts, in paintings, in poetry in philosophy. But nothing really seems to reach the depth of her soul. She is wandering through a sea of loss, doubt, disappointment and boredom.
George and Charlotte are two people who need each other and they need a jump start back into life to learn to live it to it’s fullest. But that just doesn’t seem to be what is going to happen.
David De Wolf gives us a deep long look into the normal lives and routines of common people. As you read you will find yourself asking the question, am I like George? Or am I like Charlotte? The answer you might find could frighten you.
This book is a lesson to be learned, savored and mulled over. You will find yourself trying to answer questions and suggest changes in the way of life for our two main characters. But sadly, they don’t hear us and they don’t seem to really find their ways.
While this book was not at my top of the charts favorites to read, it gave me plenty to ponder and think through while in the midst of digesting it. This is not just an action packed spy novel that you read and then forget. This is a piece of work that challenges your view of life and does a pretty good job of showing you how many of us live our lives, filled with boredom, loneliness and just a downright need to do something different to shake things up.
David De Wolf’s writing style is good. He builds the characters (maybe a bit too much) and describes situations and themes that are normal every day situations but he makes them pop and come to the surface and then he pushes you to think them through and see how maybe your life mimics them a bit too much.
The story begins and ends with the `chance' meeting of its two main characters, George and Charlotte. The couple have a shared history, although life's inevitable challenges has left them almost friendly strangers. The story's opening chapter briefly describes their re-acquaintance, where things seem tense, before coming to a halt, as George is swallowed by a well of memories. These memories then open the story, as we follow George and Charlotte, albeit separately, in the events that led them to this moment in time. The story's end then cleverly connects back to the opening scene, where the two re-acquaint, and we discover what effect the passage of time and the choices they have each made has meant for their relationship.
In the beginning, we see George struggling to live with himself and the lies he has told (both to himself and those around him), which have left him feeling his life is a farce. We also witness Charlotte struggling to come to terms with herself and her life, although for quite different reasons, as Charlotte has a painful past which has left her wounded and hesitant to move on. However, as the story progresses we witness that, no matter how difficult certain circumstances may seem, there is always light at the end of the tunnel for those who stay true to themselves and persevere in life.
The story is beautifully written, as we gain a true insight into the characters, their feelings and their motivations. The author, David de Wolf, also cleverly uses both art and architecture as background themes, enforcing the fact that life itself, in all its intricacies and possibilities is, undoubtedly, a work of design, selection and remodelling; in itself, a work of art.
de Wolf also grants us vivid descriptions of some of the more enchanting parts of Europe, including Sicily, Florence, Rome and Provence, to name a few. The parallels he draws with the Old World effortlessly enhance the backdrop and mood of the story.
The book follows George and Charlotte, who have their own independent plot arcs but we know by the opening scene that they converge at some point. The fascination lies in how these two characters connect back together after the events of the novel. Both George and Charlotte have their secrets and skeletons in their closet, leading to mystery, pain, deceit, etc, but I loved reading how they chose to handle each of these situations. There is a little “woe is me” mentality, but that is quickly replaced with a more “can-do” attitude that I found inspiring. Plus, the almost magical setting of Sicily, Rome, and Florence added to the overall beauty of the book.
Both story lines have the proper mix of adventure and emotion, allowing me to really get inside the George and Charlotte’s individual mentalities. The back-and-forth attention of the chapters' focus on individual characters was thrilling and descriptive. David de Wolf is an artistically brilliant writer who chose the right subject matter to display his talent for story-telling.