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The Stone Angel
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
32 posts | 31 read | 37 to read
The Stone Angel, The Diviners, and A Bird in the House are three of the five books in Margaret Laurence's renowned "Manawaka series," named for the small Canadian prairie town in which they take place. Each of these books is narrated by a strong woman growing up in the town and struggling with physical and emotional isolation. In The Stone Angel, Hagar Shipley, age ninety, tells the story of her life, and in doing so tries to come to terms with how the very qualities which sustained her have deprived her of joy. Mingling past and present, she maintains pride in the face of senility, while recalling the life she led as a rebellious young bride, and later as a grieving mother. Laurence gives us in Hagar a woman who is funny, infuriating, and heartbreakingly poignant. "This is a revelation, not impersonation. The effect of such skilled use of language is to lead the reader towards the self-recognition that Hagar misses."Robertson Davies, New York Times "It is [Laurence's] admirable achievement to strike, with an equally sure touch, the peculiar note and the universal; she gives us a portrait of a remarkable character and at the same time the picture of old age itself, with the pain, the weariness, the terror, the impotent angers and physical mishaps, the realization that others are waiting and wishing for an end."Honor Tracy, The New Republic "Miss Laurence is the best fiction writer in the Dominion and one of the best in the hemisphere."Atlantic "[Laurence] demonstrates in The Stone Angel that she has a true novelist's gift for catching a character in mid-passion and life at full flood. . . . As [Hagar Shipley] daydreams and chatters and lurches through the novel, she traces one of the most convincingand the most touchingportraits of an unregenerate sinner declining into senility since Sara Monday went to her reward in Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth."Time "Laurence's triumph is in her evocation of Hagar at ninety. . . . We sympathize with her in her resistance to being moved to a nursing home, in her preposterous flight, in her impatience in the hospital. Battered, depleted, suffering, she rages with her last breath against the dying of the light. The Stone Angel is a fine novel, admirably written and sustained by unfailing insight."Granville Hicks, Saturday Review "The Stone Angel is a good book because Mrs. Laurence avoids sentimentality and condescension; Hagar Shipley is still passionately involved in the puzzle of her own nature. . . . Laurence's imaginative tact is strikingly at work, for surely this is what it feels like to be old."Paul Pickrel, Harper's
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PurpleyPumpkin
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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This is a #CanadianClassic and one that was on the curriculum when I was in high school. I remember quite enjoying it. Interesting side note: I haven‘t opened this book in years and when I did, I found these retrieval request notes, probably from my school library! #GratefulReads #readinhighschool

Nute This is one more reason why I love Litsy! Thanks for sharing info about this book. I never really thought about the fact that high school required reading lists would probably vary a lot from country to country. I think that I‘m going to try to locate this book so that I can share in the experience of reading a Canadian Classic required for High School.🙂 (edited) 3w
OriginalCyn620 👍🏻📚 3w
PurpleyPumpkin @Nute So true! I‘m sure required reading lists are quite different depending on where you are. Your comments prompted me to Google this book and I was surprised to learn the some school boards have been pressured to ban Laurence‘s books. 🙄Glad I wasn‘t in those schools! 3w
UwannaPublishme How cool! 3w
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CarolynM
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Thank you @LeahBergen I cannot tell you how delighted I am by this little taste of Canada! The books sound great and I love the Flames swag - the stubby cooler will definitely get some use over summer. I am very grateful, my generous friend.😘

batsy The Blue Castle! I adore that book 💙 I also loved Margaret Laurence's The Diviners and need to read more of her work. 2mo
merelybookish Lovely! 2mo
LeahBergen Yay! I‘m glad it arrived. Go Flames go! 🔥😂😂 2mo
Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks ❤️❤️ 1mo
arubabookwoman I read The Stone Angel many years ago and it has stayed with me. In fact I have it checked out of the library now for a reread, and I rarely reread. 1mo
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Blaire
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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#7days7covers #7covers7days #covercrush. Day 2. @andrew61 want to join in? Post a cover for 7 days no explanation. Tag someone else each day.

BarbaraBB Beautiful cover! 3mo
TrishB Lovely 💜 3mo
Tanisha_A Love this! 3mo
LeahBergen 😍😍 3mo
sudi 😍 3mo
75 likes1 stack add5 comments
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JenniferP
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

I loved this book from the perfect first paragraph to the last sentence. Dying (though she doesn‘t realize it) Hagar Shipley looks back on the entirety of her life growing up in Manawaka, Canada. A new favorite!

LeahBergen It‘s such a great novel ❤️❤️ 3mo
BarbaraBB Quite a recommendation. Stacked! 3mo
18 likes2 comments
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Tamra
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

It‘s in Hagar‘s nature to be a holy terror and she is self aware enough to know and accept it.

This classic Canadian novel is an unsentimental look at the life of a fierce uncompromising prairie woman and aging out of independence.

Prairiegirl_reading One of my all time favourites! Manawaka is based on a town not far from where I live. They have a museum in the house where Margaret Laurence grew up. It‘s pretty cool. 7mo
Tamra @Prairiegirl_reading I‘d like to visit it! 7mo
TrishB Recently read this and enjoyed 👍🏻 7mo
LeahBergen @Prairiegirl_reading Yes! I‘ve visited it. 😃 And @Tamra , you can see the Stone Angel gravestone in the cemetery that inspired the one in the book. 7mo
Tamra @LeahBergen oh, that would be awesome! 7mo
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Tamra
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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This is the reward when it finally hits 80 again after 6 months and the winter we‘ve endured!

And when my grading is done!

catebutler So pretty! Enjoy that sunshine and beautiful weather!! 7mo
Melissa_J I loved that book! 7mo
Tamra @catebutler 🌝 I‘m going to take it in today because it‘s not going to last. 7mo
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Tamra @Melissa_J glad to hear it! 7mo
catebutler @Tamra I know! We have rain scheduled for the next week and much lower temps, and it‘s been windy and dark today. I keep telling myself, I‘ll appreciate this cooler weather when it hit 100° in a month. But right now I‘m missing the sun. 7mo
Tamra @catebutler the grass is always greener! 7mo
LeahBergen Oh, I hope you like this 🇨🇦 classic! 7mo
Tamra @LeahBergen I only got a couple of pages in and already quotable. 😄 7mo
84 likes2 stack adds8 comments
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TrishB
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

Who doesn‘t have one of these grumpy older women in their lives! Sad, poignant tale about Hagar‘s life and her coming to the end of life. I completely loved her in this, despite the fact that she isn‘t loveable at all.
Thanks @LeahBergen - it‘s only taken me since last June to read (which isn‘t that bad actually!).

Christine11 Hi Trish - I‘m so so sorry I haven‘t gotten the next #whodunituk book to you - I‘ve been ridiculously busy but I promise I will get it in the post ASAP! Sorry again ! 💛 8mo
TrishB @Christine11 no worries 😁 when you get the chance. Hope all is well 😘 8mo
jdiehr Powell's 💕💕 8mo
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Melissa_J I loved The Stone Angel. It was required reading in one of my high school English courses 😊 8mo
MicheleinPhilly I feel like I‘m the grumpy older woman in people‘s lives. 8mo
cathysaid Haystack Rock? 8mo
batsy @MicheleinPhilly Same 😂 8mo
LeahBergen Hey, that‘s not long at all. I always like to let books age nicely on my shelves before I get to them, too. 😄 I‘m glad you liked it! 😘😘 8mo
TrishB @jdiehr I have unfortunately never been, the postcard came with the book! 8mo
TrishB @Melissa_J I can see why it would be 👍🏻 8mo
TrishB @MicheleinPhilly @batsy you have nowhere near reached vintage status yet😁 8mo
TrishB @cathysaid postcard says Canon Beach? 8mo
TrishB @LeahBergen 😁 true! 8mo
Cathythoughts Sounds good ♥️👍🏻. @LeahBergen I like this “ letting the books age “ idea .. nice thinking 👍🏻♥️ 8mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts they age gracefully like wine! 8mo
LeahBergen @Cathythoughts @TrishB They do! I like to browse my shelves and land upon the perfect read at the perfect moment. 😆 8mo
Cathythoughts @TrishB @LeahBergen I love this ... For so many reasons ... this brings a whole new dimension to the choices of our books ... And when we read them . To know you have some special ones waiting... brilliant !! The wine metaphor, Trish ! And it‘s more with books , that the mind is maturing & getting ready ... 8mo
cathysaid @TrishB That‘s it! We visited last fall and stayed in Canon Beach. Loved it. 8mo
TrishB @Cathythoughts so wonderfully put 😁 8mo
TrishB @cathysaid looks lovely 💕 8mo
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janeycanuck
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Panpan

I hated this book with a fiery passion when I read it in school. I hated this book with a passion when I read it for the #readharder challenge.

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janeycanuck
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Time for #NovemberTBR! Lots left over from October (and August... and September...) and a couple new pre-2018 TBRs in my never-ending quest to #readmyowndamnbooks plus my #girlybookclub book and my #mummydaughterbookclub book plus a couple #readharder challenge books. There‘s no way I‘m getting through them all but I‘m gonna give it a try!!

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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Sick in bed, but have two of my three favorite things with me: a book and #Hester. The third, #sancho, is snoring in his own (heated) bed.

#dogsoflitsy #sickday

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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Found a local #coffeeshop to spend some time in until my flight home...and interrupted #craft club!

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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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#hotel nights

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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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TrishB Have this on the tbr.....will get to! 14mo
Wannabe_Quijote @TrishB I‘m really liking it—I hope you will too! 14mo
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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Someone needs a #haircut.

#Hester #dogsoflitsy

CouronneDhiver Cute! 14mo
britt_brooke 😍 14mo
24 likes2 comments
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Wannabe_Quijote
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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#Hester gets the corner of my bed while we both listen to her old geezer brother #Sancho snoring from his heated bed. #dogsoflitsy #petsoflitsy

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mariaku21
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

Laurence's Hagar completely reminded me of my own grandmother; two strong, proud women full of gumption saying what they mean, and being exactly who they always have been. 4 / 5 ⭐

TrishB Must move this up my tbr 👍🏻 1y
35 likes1 comment
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TheKidUpstairs
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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I can't believe I missed yesterday's #Canada prompt! My shelves are chock a' block with Canada!

Here's a small selection of Canadian classics 🇨🇦❤ The only one I haven't read (yet) is The Stone Angel, which I picked up from a Little Free Library earlier this week. I absolutely love The Diviners, so I feel I should read the rest of the Manawaka series.

@Alwaysbeenaloverofbooks @vkois88
#AugustisaTrip

vkois88 ❤❤❤ 1y
Prairiegirl_reading I LOVE The Stone Angel!! All time fave! I hope you love it! 1y
LeahBergen 🎉🇨🇦🎉 1y
98 likes3 comments
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Blaire
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

A moving character portrait of 90-year old Hagar Shipley. The novel explores aging in a very real way as Hagar struggles to maintain her dignity and come to terms with the choices she‘s made in her life. Her reflections were honest and tho she could be infuriating and blind to her own faults - these facts also made her very believable. Thanks for the red @LeahBergen #booked2018 #mcover70

Melissa_J I loved this one! I think I read it in my grade 12 English class, which was all Canadian lit. 1y
Lcsmcat Great view! 1y
LeahBergen Oh, I‘m glad you enjoyed it! 👍🏻 1y
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Cinfhen Oh, I‘ve seen this as a Canadian Classic 1y
BarbaraTheBibliophage Nice review and pick! 👏🏻👏🏻 1y
Blaire @Melissa_J yes, I really loved it. Slow in a good way. 1y
Blaire @Lcsmcat it‘s the top of a park in Cincinnati. Pretty spot to sit and read. 1y
Blaire @LeahBergen it was great! 1y
Blaire @Cinfhen yes! A great in-depth look at a life and aging and life on the Canadian prairies. 1y
62 likes2 stack adds11 comments
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HotCocoaReads
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Mehso-so

This is the story of Hagar Shipley, who‘s reflecting back on her life in her last days. It‘s a slow book and it‘s sad to see her lose her independence and feel that she‘s a burden on others. Please let me remember how people want to be respected until the very end. 😞

Eggs Lovely background! 1y
22 likes1 comment
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TrishB
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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#litsymail - sent to cheer you up ❤️
Thank you Leah for your lovely gifts 😁 I haven‘t read the book - but have recently heard of the author! And I love the bookmarks and stickies.
Thank you Emily for the postcard, your kind thoughts do really help 💕

Lindy 😍A Canadian classic. 1y
TrishB @Lindy I think it was @Melissa_J that mentioned recently! Looking forward to it 👍🏻 1y
Cathythoughts ❤️❤️❤️ 1y
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LeahBergen You‘re so welcome! I‘m glad you haven‘t read it (and hope you enjoy it). 😘😘 1y
TrishB @LeahBergen will let you know once I‘m choosing my books again 😁😘 1y
Melissa_J I love Hagar Shipley! I read that book in high school and it was definitely one of my favourites. 1y
124 likes6 comments
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Weaponxgirl
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Pickpick

#booksandvinyl this pairing for the song you learn. Was talking to @merelybookish last night about how I should read my vmcs and finished this last night. This book is amazing! The main character is a 90 year old woman who's not always nice but she is so so human. I've met this character many times in real life and this is nothing but a perfectly drawn. Recommend so much. #readingwomenchallenge #readharder2018

batsy I loved The Diviners. I've been meaning to read this! 2y
Weaponxgirl @batsy I'm gonna have to read the diviners now too. 2y
dreadamara On my TBR. Thanks! 2y
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Blaire
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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My #canadian #bookhaul. Thanks for the recommendations @LeahBergen . My baba said stone angel is one of her all-time favorites. Can‘t wait to get to these. @Cinfhen - here‘s what I picked. Currently stuck in the Winnipeg airport hoping to head home tonight. #delays

Melissa_J I loved The Stone Angel. I read it in high school, although I can‘t remember if it was required reading or if I picked it out on my own. I also loved The Diviners, and The Fire Dwellers, also by Laurence. 2y
LeahBergen Yay!! Both of these are so good (and one is “Baba-approved” 👏🏻👏🏻). 2y
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Cinfhen Yay for BaBa approved books🙌🏻Boo on airport delays 😬Hope u get home soon ❤️ 2y
Blaire @Melissa_J great to hear!! I‘m really looking forward to it. 2y
Blaire @Cinfhen 😍. Thanks - we ended up having to stay an extra night in Winnipeg, but almost home now. 2y
Cinfhen Ugh...that‘s the worse!! Hope you‘re now home safe & sound 💋 2y
Blaire @Cinfhen finally got home Wednesday evening and now back on the road today. (Tho this time without the fam). 2y
Cinfhen Oh man!!! That‘s a lot of traveling 😬stay safe...hope all goes smoothly 2y
53 likes10 comments
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LeahBergen
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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Ninety-year-old Hagar Shipley narrates this story and she's one of my favourite fictional #SeniorCitizens. Do yourself a favour and read this Canadian classic.

#AndItsAugust

merelybookish I loved this! Really, I love all Laurence's books. 2y
Aleida Great cover. 2y
LeahBergen @merelybookish I really need to read more of them! 2y
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LeahBergen @Aleida I thought so, too! 👍🏻 2y
RealLifeReading Need to read this! 2y
105 likes9 stack adds6 comments
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rabbitprincess
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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The Stone Angel is Margaret Laurence's sophomore novel. It is also on my to-read shortlist for this year.
#jubilantjuly day 18: sophomore novel

merelybookish I loved it! 2y
KVanRead It's on my TBR too. I loved 2y
rabbitprincess @merelybookish Looking forward to it! @KVanRead The Diviners is on my tbr as well. I bought The Stone Angel knowing I had a Laurence on the TBR, but couldn't remember which one! 2y
VivienneR My favourite Laurence. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 2y
rabbitprincess @VivienneR I'm keen to dive in! 2y
27 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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EvieBee
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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This one, too! Where to start?! #bookmail #bookdepository #bookhaul

LeahBergen Yay!! 👏🏻👏🏻 2y
EvieBee @LeahBergen Thank you for the recommendation! 💜💚❤️ 2y
LauraBrook Wow, beautiful cover! 2y
EvieBee @LauraBrook Thank you! 💗 2y
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Autumnsnite
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence

I can't change what's happened to me in my life, or make what's not occurred take place. But I can't say I like it, or accept it, or believe it's for the best. I don't and never shall, not even if I'm damned for it.

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twohectobooks
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence

I try, a little, to pray, as one's meant to do at evening, thinking perhaps the knack of it will come to me here. But it works no better than it ever did. I can't change what's happened to me in my life, or make what's not occurred take place. But I can't say I like it, or accept it, or believe it's for the best. I don't and never shall, not even if I'm damned for it.

review
Breazy
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
Pickpick

I had to read this novel for an English course I took in university. The first few chapters were quite slow, but I'm so glad I kept on with it. This novel moved me in such a way that it is now one of my all time favorite novels! How the author portrays the main character as such a martyr is absolutely fantastic!! I highly recommend this book; just make sure to not give up during the first few chapters!

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merelybookish
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
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In grade 12, I took a #Canlit class. (We mostly read Brit lit in regular English.) The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence blew me away. I was 17 but I was enthralled by Hagar, a fierce unapologetic old woman. I went on to read all Laurence's novels and to appreciate her portraits of complicated women. Actually writing this post reminds me I should reread them. #photoadaynov16 @RealLifeReading

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twohectobooks
The Stone Angel | Margaret Laurence
Pickpick

Utterly depressing (which goes without saying for CanLit) but a magnificent character study and meditation on aging.