Stones for Ibarra

Stones for IbarraWinner Of The National Book Award For First Work Of Fiction A Very Good Novel Indeed, With Echoes Of Gabriel Garc A M Rquez, Katherine Anne Porter, And Even Graham Greene The New York Times Richard And Sara Everton, Just Over And Just Under Forty, Have Come To The Small Mexican Village Of Ibarra To Reopen A Copper Mine Abandoned By Richard S Grandfather Fifty Years Before They Have Mortgaged, Sold, Borrowed, Left Friends And Country, To Settle In This Remote Spot Their Plan Is To Live Out Their Lives Here, Connected To The Place And To Each Other The Two Americans, The Only Foreigners In Ibarra, Live Among People Who Both Respect And Misunderstand Them And Gradually The Villagers At First Enigmas To The Evertons Come To Teach Them Much About Life And The Relentless Tide Of Fate. This is one of a handful of books that I always buy used in order to give away to people What I liked best about it as well as her Consider this, Senora as the poetic prose Not too heavy, not too light Not too flowery, not too sparse Just right Musical in a sense, but not obviously so The kind of writing that s a window than a door to help you see the beauty and sacredness that s inherent in everyday life What I especially liked in Stones, however, was the very artful way subtle, not preachy or obnoxious that North American lifestyle idealizing the individual or individual family was compared and contrasted with Latin American lifestyle idealizing the communal Growing up in small town North America, in real village in rural parts, I m able to recognize what s good and bad in both neither the individual nor the communit
11 Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerrpublished 1984format 214 page paperbackacquired inherited from my neighbor upon his moveread Feb 20 24rating 4Doerr s claim to fame seems to be that she published her first book, this one here, at the ripe young age of 74 She outlived her husband, who died of leukemia, and then went back to school to complete her unfinished BA and that led to here.Gentle and atmospheric are two things I struck me initially on starting this Richard Everton abandons his career in the US to re open a family owned mine in the middle of nowhere desert of Mexico He brings his wife, Sara, and they move into an old run down mansion in a tiny town, find plenty of locals willing to work the mine Shortly afterward he is diagnosed with leukemia Most of this is autobiographical.The novel isn t like a novel It has the feel of linked short stories, with each chapter focusing on one character or oddity of the region Several were published prior to the book First Sara is generally amused She struggles to learn Spanish well enough to have clear communication, but wonders and is charmed by the passionate and brutal Catholic community she now lives within But these stories seems to get darker, and Richard gets sicker, and husband and wife remain non religiou
I struggled with the rating for this book, because it probably deserves 5 stars However, I as the reader had a little difficulty putting everything together so that the lower rating likely represents a deficiency on my part instead of a commentary on the book itself.Nevertheless, this book is beautifully written, because the rhythm is very lyrical in nature It s about a couple who move to Mexico in the 1960s to re establish a mine that the husband s grandfather had abandoned in 1910 The couple s story is told through a series of vignettes that depict the numerous differences between Mexican and American cultures What s interesting is that people die every day in this small Mexican town in strange and sometimes violent ways, and the husband in book, Richard, we learn at the onset of the book will also be dead within 5 years of the couple s move to M
I always glance at the copyright page of a book, and in this case I immediately panicked For the current challenge, I needed to be reading a book published in 1984, and the copyright started with 1978 and then 81, 83, and 84 Sometimes the GR information is incorrect, but this was going to be beyond disappointing and I was going to have to scurry around and find a replacement book It turns out that the earlier copyrights were for stories published before the final publication of the novel Yes, stories This is definitely a novel, but the construction is somewhat similar to Olive Kitteridge Sometimes reading a lot of stories by a single author can feel repetitious, and this is true about some of the chapters in this Here is the story of Richard and Sara Everton, but there is also the story of Ibarra, a village remotely located in the interior mountains of Mexico Some 50 years earlier than our story was the 1910 Revolution, when Richard Everton s grandfather was forced to abandon his mining operation and flee the country The Evertons return to Ibarra to reclaim the mine, to reinvigorate the village, and to live their lives The driver of the station wagon is Richard Everton, a blue eyed, black haired
I actually thought about how much I love this author when I picked the name Harriet for our daughter Very nice voice in her writing. You should read this book even if it s not really your kind of thing A couple, one just over 40 and the other just under, move from the Bay Area to rural Mexico to start up the husband s old family mine The book feels like a collection of short stories than a novel The language is lyrical without being gushing and Jake will be happy to know that Doerr never dips into magical realism There might be odd coincidences and an oddly humorous but sad bit in which an old priest is followed around by all the village dogs all the time, but there are no miracles This isn t a travel book, nor is it some of that see how poverty makes people noble crap Mostly it s about the wife s journey to both understand and deliberately misunderstand the people around her and the events in her life It s sad but not that bleak More on the re
It feels like assigned reading for a high school English class Like it is probably good for me somehow but I m just not getting it I didn t connect to any of the stories or characters My favorite part was being done. Author, Harriet Doerr s debut novel was published when she was 74 years old She went back to school at the urging of her son, to finish her BA after surviving her husband and went on to become a Wallace Stegner fellow She writes a fiction novel or novella from her experiences in Mexico The story is gentle and revealing of North Americ
This novel is probably well worth a read But I ve read it, and even though I remember nothing about it, and it s short, I m getting rid of it Now I wish I hadn t It was the winner of the American Book Award whatever that is in 1984, so I probably read it thirty years ago The
I borrowed this book from the library based on Lisa Roberts excellent review This is such a gentle, beautiful story about a North American couple moving to a small village in a remote part of Mexico to reopen his grandfather s ore mine Harriet Doerr won the National Book Award for this descriptive novel of their life, sur