I loved the photographs Carol Shields included in Stone Diaries. After I read the book I carefully studied the photos trying to link characters in the story to people in the photographs.
I felt the same way about the photos Gabriele Goldstone includes in her new novel Broken Stone. I studied the photographs for a long time after I finished the book, mentally trying to connect the people in the pictures with the characters in the story they inspired.
I went to the launch of Broken Stone at McNally Robinson on Thursday and thanks to Gabriele spent the better part of my Saturday reading her book. I had already finished Red Stone the first book in the series and was anxious to find out what awaited its heroine Katya Halter.
Although Katya escapes communist Russia early on in the book, more challenges await her at the home of her aunt and uncle in Prussia. While the book tells Katya’s personal story it is set against the backdrop of Hitler’s growing popularity and rise to power and so we learn about that period in German history as we read. The book ends with Katya leaving her family and striking out on her own. What adventures lie ahead? I guess I will have to wait for the third book in the series to find out.
Broken Stone is targeted for young people and would be a great way for the many families in Canada who have post World War I roots in Ukraine or Germany to give their children and grandchildren an interesting insight into their family history.