- Sign up to be notified by email when the next Oprah's Book Club® pick is announced and available for pre-order.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $5.99 shipping
Stones from the River Paperback – March 1, 1997
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
Oprah Book Club® Selection, February 1997: Ursula Hegi's Stones from the River clamors for comparisons to Gunter Grass's The Tin Drum; her protagonist Trudi Montag--like the unforgettable Oskar Mazerath--is a dwarf living in Germany during the two World Wars. To its credit, Stones does not wilt from the comparison. Hegi's book has a distinctive, appealing flavor of its own. Stone's characters are off-center enough to hold your attention despite the inevitable dominance of the setting: There's Trudi's mother, who slowly goes insane living in an "earth nest" beneath the family house; Trudi's best friend Georg, whose parents dress him as the girl they always wanted; and, of course, Trudi herself, whose condition dooms her to long for an impossible normalcy. Futhermore, the reader's inevitable sympathy for Trudi, the dwarf, heightens the true grotesqueness of Nazi Germany. Stones from the River is a nightmare journey with an unforgettable guide.
From Publishers Weekly
Returning to Burgdorf, the small German community she memorably depicted in Floating in My Mother's Palm , Hegi captures the events and atmosphere in the country prior, during and after WW II. Again she has produced a powerful novel whose chilling candor and resonant moral vision serve a dramatic story. With a sure hand, Hegi evokes the patterns of small-town life, individualized here in dozens of ordinary people who display the German passion for order, obedience and conformity, enforced for centuries by rigid class differences and the strictures of the Catholic church. The protagonist is Trudi Montag, the Zwerg (dwarf) who becomes the town's librarian; (she and most of the other characters figured in the earlier book). A perennial outsider because of her deformity, Trudi exploits her gift for eliciting peoples' secrets--and often maliciously reveals them in suspenseful gossip. But when Hitler ascends to power, she protects those who have been kind to her, including two Jewish families who, despite the efforts of Trudi, her father and a few others, are fated to perish in the Holocaust. Trudi is a complex character, as damaged by her mother's madness and early death as she is by the later circumstances of her life, and she is sometimes cruel, vindictive and vengeful. It is fascinating to watch her mature, as she experiences love and loss and finds wisdom, eventually learning to live with the vast amnesia that grips formerly ardent Nazis after the war. One hopes that Hegi will continue to depict the residents of Burgdorf--Germany in microcosm--thus deepening our understanding of a time and place.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Having said that.......it was one of the most difficult books I've ever read. It just felt like it drug on and on and on and I could not help
but be completely relieved when I read the last sentence. I had a really hard time keeping track of all the different characters. I think it
is a significant documentation of the time period, but I can't say I enjoyed the book.
This book is a gift, touching on the triumphs and tragedies of individual human existence and the ways we are all caught up in the flow of history. It might seem on the surface that we are all borne along by a current we can neither control nor resist, but there are voices we make as we move through events. Most of all, we choose the story we tell -- and it makes all the difference.
I'm very glad I purchased this book, because it is absolutely one I will be reading over and over again.