Dixie L. (Seward, Alaska)
Water, Stone, Heart by Will North
This book grabbed me from the start. It reminded me of Maeve Binchy's style of writing. The reader is taken into the psyche of the characters immediately and shown their vulnerabilities, defenses, and perspective on life. The setting is a real village in Cornwall called Boscastle. I felt a part of this small rural village as the story progressed. The book pulls you in and makes you an intimate observer of the villagers. It offers a variety of characters from a nine year old girl who is very wise for her age and knows everything that goes on in the village to "witches" who have compassion, understanding and intuition. (There is a witchcraft museum in this village so witchcraft is a part of the village culture).
The two main characters, Andrew and Nicky meet here. Both have been deeply wounded by people they love, Andrew emotionally and Nicky physically. Andrew comes to the village to take a class on constructing stone hedges from a master builder in the village. I loved learning about how to build stone hedges. It was like I was part of the class, as well! As he learns about building with stone, he ironically begins to deconstruct the wall he has built around himself. Nicky moved to the village to escape an abusive relationship. She is a gifted artist and slowly learns to build trust again as she becomes part of the village. I looked up the village of Boscastle on the internet because it is a place I would love to visit after reading this book. Good book!
Barbara C. (Lincolnshire, IL)
Water, Stone, Heart
Will North's new novel, Water, Stone, Heart was quite a worthy read. At first I thought it was too much with the actual flood/weather facts at the beginning of each chapter but then as I was drawn into the story, I couldn't wait to see how each chapter was going to start. North's characters were all quite charming, realistic and intriguing. The "witchcraft" aspect added color to the story. ... Without giving away the plot, I encourage readers to let themselves be captivated by Water, Stone, Heart. A sequel would be nice too!
Erica (Plaistow, New Hampshire)
A Fly on the Wall
Will North's vivid descriptions of Bocastle, England and it's inhabitants made me feel as if I were the proverbial fly on the wall, watching the story unfold before me. Although it was a great story, there were some awkward aspects for me. The use of witchcraft didn't really feel quite right; it felt like a case of too little or too much to belong. There is also a relationship with a main character's ex-father in law which was unnecessary because she is such a strong woman on her own. Past lives, self discovery and a love story build up to a true life catastrophy and makes for an enjoyable read despite it's minor flaws.
Teresa R. (Evansville, IN)
Water, Stone, Heart
Loved this book about the small English seaside town of Boscastle with its quirky, endearing characters. The sense of community and comradery made me wish I lived there. Andrew, an American architect, finds his way there to learn the art of hedge building. He finds architecture, interesting people, and romance. He also learns about the spirit and backbone of these people as they face a natural disaster. Loved the book - wish I hadn't finished it so soon!
Barbara S. (Brick, NJ)
Summer Beach Read
The first 150 pages kept me interested with the location description and the character introductions. The stone hedge building was a different addition to a novel about the UK. Around page 170, I started to skim as I was losing interest. The book ended with a ho-hum. It had potential in the first half but lost me in the second half.
The characters in the hedge building class were colorful and I would have enjoyed it if they were followed to the end of the book. The love scene was not exciting. Disappointing second half. It was a decent enough story to be made into a Lifetime Movie for Women or just a summer beach read requiring little attention.