Countless Stones

All posts tagged Countless Stones

Short Stories Challenge – Countless Stones by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles

Published December 3, 2013 by bibliobeth

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What’s Countless Stones all about?:

Countless Stones is about a young woman who is trying to complete a number of mundane tasks (check the doors are locked and the windows are shut, switch off the electric etc) and you would think she is about to go on holiday. However, she is turning into one of the standing stones that sit on the edge of a cliff, looking out onto the sea.

What did I think?:

Like the previous story in this collection, Countless Stones has a touch of the magical realism about it which I loved and I was afraid that I wouldn’t enjoy this story compared to the beauty of the first one in this collection Diving Belles. Our central female character, Rita is a young woman whom from the very beginning is anything but ordinary. She wakes with a strange sensation in her toes, as if they are turning to stone, but does not seem particularly surprised or worried about it. In fact, she undergoes the same processes we all do when leaving our property for a while to make sure it is safe for our return. As she does this however she is interrupted by a call from her former boyfriend, someone who still seems quite attached to her, and relies heavily on her to help him complete certain tasks. She obliges by taking him to view a property he is interested in renting, even though the roads are treacherous with snow and ice, and oh yes… she is turning quite literally to stone.

So compared to the title story, Diving Belles, I have to admit this one did not leave me reeling as much with giddy happiness. But I’m not saying it was bad at all, it was good but unfortunately had a lot to live up to. Lucy Wood mixes a bit of fantasy and very beautiful descriptive writing to make a very special story though, and it becomes an absolute joy and pleasure to read her work. It is also so much more thrilling when the author brings a bit of mystery into the tale, as we discover that the thought of turning to stone does not particularly worry Rita. She is slightly concerned about exactly how long she will be “away,” but reassures the reader that this type of thing happens to all of the people in her town, and they would probably deal with the mail piling up at her house. The only thing I would have loved more is to find out more about Rita and her boyfriends relationship, and what had happened between them that they had to separate. However, I do believe that the unanswered questions of the story only serve to make it more mysterious and intriguing.

Would I recommend it?:


Star rating (out of 5):

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NEXT SHORT STORY: The Sea of Trees by Randy Taguchi from the collection Fujisan

Challenge: Short Stories October to December

Published October 4, 2013 by bibliobeth

What better way to end the year then by enjoying some more short stories? Here  is how I plan to spend the next three months:

Week beginning  7th October

Mr E. Morse, BA OXON (Failed) by Colin Dexter, from the collection The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime, Volume 7

Week beginning 14th October

Pilgrims by Julie Orringer from the collection How To Breathe Underwater

Week beginning 21st October

Her First Ball by Katherine Mansfield from the collection Stories To Get You Through The Night

Week beginning 28th October

Here There Be Tygers by Stephen King from the collection Skeleton Crew

Week beginning 4th November

Sister Hills by Nathan Englander from the collection What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank

Week beginning 11th November

Countless Stones by Lucy Wood from the collection Diving Belles

Week beginning 18th November

The Sea of Trees by Randy Taguchi from the collection Fujisan

Week beginning 25th November

Reeling for the Empire by Karen Russell from the collection Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Week beginning 2nd December

The Red-Headed League by Arthur Conan Doyle from the collection The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Week beginning 9th December

The Beautiful Indifference by Sarah Hall from the collection The Beautiful Indifference

Week beginning 16th December

The Strange Career of Dr. Raju Gopalarajan by Rajesh Parameswaran from the collection I Am An Executioner

Week beginning 23rd December

Things That Fall From The Sky by Kevin Brockmeier from the collection Things That Fall From The Sky

Week beginning 30th December

In Winter The Sky by Jon McGregor from the collection This Isn’t The Sort of Thing That Happens To Someone Like You