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1. In her preface to the novel, Luanne Rice tells us that the title comes from a poem by Irish Nobel laureate William Butler Yeats, “Easter 1916.” Discuss the relevance of the lines "Too long a sacrifice/Can make a stone of the heart" to the novel's primary characters. In what way is Irish history an apt metaphor for the personal struggles faced by Maria and her family?
2. Why do Maria and Sophie have such different approaches to love? What does the storyline indicate about the role of nature versus nurture in a child's life? Compare the various notions of legacy presented by Gordon's parents and Maria's parents. What does it take to break a harmful family cycle?
3. What makes this part of America such a compelling setting for Stone Heart, and for so much of Rice's fiction? How does Hatuquitit, with a rich and difficult history between Puritans and Native Americans, create a meaningful backdrop for Maria's homecoming?
4. Discuss the role of talismans and possessions in the novel. How does the meaning of the Chavín goddess replica shift over the course of Maria's time in Connecticut? How does Sophie calculate her own self-worth?
5. The author begins chapter 21 by telling us that Peter had always wanted to be the strong one in the family. How does he compare with the other significant men in Maria's life? Why were she and Aldo not able to form a lasting marriage? Does Duncan's unraveling marriage mirror Maria's?
6. Discuss the many obstacles that prevented Sophie's family from intervening in her crisis. What ultimately was the source of Gordon's power over her?
7. What insight do you gain from the chapters narrated by Sophie? What feeds her denial, and the denial expressed by her mother? What turning point does the miscarried child reflect?
8. What is the significance of the artifacts Maria unearths from the Pequot squaw's grave? How does this ancient love story reflect the novel's contemporary ones?
9. The community's notion of the prison as being "where bad girls go" is undermined by Sophie's experience there. How would you characterize the temporary family she forms with the inmates?
10. Why did Sophie believe she could only experience peace through death? Or do you perceive her death as further self-punishment? Do you believe that awareness and understanding of domestic violence have improved since 1990, when Stone Heart was first published?
11. Each of Luanne Rice's novels presents a unique and provocative human experience. What do we discover about resilience and vulnerability in Stone Heart? In what way does the novel convey Rice's signature approach to storytelling?
12. Discuss your own homecoming experiences. What were you able to discover about your past by spending time away from your roots? Have you ever been able to serve as an agent for change for a friend or relative in need, as Maria did?
Posted July 31, 2002
I guess this was Luanne Rice's first book. I bought it years ago & it sat on my shelf until recently. What a nice surpise! It was a great book. I'd never read her before, so now I am beginning!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
book was not as enjoyable as the rest of the lrice books that I have read and the ending was not as point blank as it needed to be. In short this was not the best the lrice has done and you could tell how much better she has growen in her writing and in the style that she does. This is not my favortie of her books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2004
I found this book in the bargin bin for $2. What a deal!! She's my favorite, I've read all of her books. The settings in her books make me want to move east. Pointed my daughter to Louanne Rice when she moved from teen lit to more mature reading.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 14, 2003
Posted June 21, 2003
I'm almost done with this book and when I am, I will have only one more to complete my reading of ALL of Luanne Rice's books. She is a WONDERFUL author and tells another wonderful story here, although it's a bit depressing as it deals with abuse within a family. However, Luanne keeps you rooting for the family and she has such a wonderful way of tying everything together and making you feel the whole gambit of emotions for everyone involved in the story. After this I have to read 'Crazy In Love' and then wait as patiently as possible for her newest book to come out the end of July.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 1, 2011
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Posted June 23, 2011
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