by Buffy Andrews.
reviewed by Fiona Wilson.
"Every now and again a book comes along which will remain with me for a long time to come. There's no rhyme or reason as to why a book affects me, there's just something unique in each of these books. The Stone Giver is one of those which I feel will become one of those special reads for a lot of people.
I have read a lot of this authors books, each being different in their own way, yet all showing the talent she has. This book is one which came about from a conversation the author had with a friend which captured her imagination so much she knew she had to write a fictional story to do the real life story justice. My goodness has she done that story justice, and then some.
The story itself is, for me at least, told in three different parts. There is the story of Zara, a nurse working in a medical center. She looks after soldiers with horrific, life altering injuries. Every day she sees things which she cannot change, at least physically. But she sees the opportunity to do something for one patient which she hopes could give him a small boost mentally.
This leads to the second part of the story, that of Jack, a soldier injured in Afghanistan. Zara is the nurse who, with the best of intentions, tries to help him. A small act of kindness backfires though, and Zara disappears. The third part of the story comes next.
The author alternates the two characters lives, chapter by chapter, allowing the reader to see in detail what happens to them in great detail. They may be going in totally different directions, but both Zara and Jack have lasting memories of each other. Both are left wondering 'What if?'
There are a lot of questions, and not a lot of answers. As time goes on they move on in their lives, facing different obstacles along the way. The individual stories are told so well, as I have come to expect from the author. I loved that the journeys weren't without problems, after all nothing goes smoothly in real life so why should fictional lives be any different.
When the two life paths finally begin to merge I absolutely loved it. The story is told so well I was totally drawn into it and read the book in one sitting.
The main element of the book is the one which turns Zara into 'The Stone Giver'. I cannot say too much about this as I really want readers to experience it for themselves. What I will say is that even though I am not a religious person, I got the message which runs all the way through the story. Zara sets out to help people in a very small way, and her journey very soon becomes something she could never have predicted. This is made even more special by the fact certain elements of this fictional story are actually happening in real life. That turns this into something far more than a simple fictional story.
I love this author, and I love this story. I would highly recommend this not only to lovers of the author, but to anyone who wants to read a very special story."
THE STONE GIVER, available Oct. 14, 2016