Stone and Shadow
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Pages: 69
Goes Well With: a scrambled egg sandwich, carrot sticks, Diet Coke

Once again I chose a title that I had to break into two lunch hours, but Stone and Shadow flowed poetically, sinking its hooks into me, so I didnít mind spending the next day at lunch, too, with the story.

Three months after his wifeís death, Bill Blackthorn often finds himself wandering the night through the lavender field his wife owned in the south of France. Here he reflects on his life, remembering things and events from long ago. Though his granddaughter, Flambťe, often asked him endless questions down through the years as she followed him around while he cut the tender flowers for the oil, he never really opened up about his life. Now, alone in the lavender fields, his mind spills forth with years of memories.

As he walks through the fields, he remembers life with his twin brother Bobby and their vast differences; his daughter Merle and their uneasy life; the World Wars and the Great Depression; his trip to India; Gandhiís 240 mile walk at the age of 80; meeting his wife Hortense; and so much more.

Stone and Shadow is a poetic journey through one manís life. The story flows in an abstract, stream-of-conscious narrative, moving from one slice of life to another with no real plot. Most of the time I donít enjoy this type of story, but Ms. Taylor wrote with such easy rhythm I simply could not stop reading.

Obscure history comes to life through the eyes of Bill Blackthorn, and I found myself doubly fascinated by the main characterís take on what was going on around him at the time. I even learned a thing or two about Gandhi that I didnít know before.

Stone and Shadow is not your conventional read, instead itís written with literary grace, and makes a welcome change from the usual reading fare of fast-paced action by moving at a lulling paceónot boring, but relaxing. I greatly enjoyed Stone and Shadow and look forward to more from author Becky Taylor.

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