The Stone Angel

The Stone Angel

Book - 1998
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In her best-loved novel, The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence introduces Hagar Shipley, one of the most memorable characters in Canadian fiction. Stubborn, querulous, self-reliant - and, at ninety, with her life nearly behind her - Hagar Shipley makes a bold last step towards freedom and independence.
As her story unfolds, we are drawn into her past. We meet Hagar as a young girl growing up in a black prairie town; as the wife of a virile but unsuccessful farmer with whom her marriage was stormy; as a mother who dominates her younger son; and, finally, as an old woman isolated by an uncompromising pride and by the stern virtues she has inherited from her pioneer ancestors.
Vivid, evocative, moving, The Stone Angel celebrates the triumph of the spirit, and reveals Margaret Laurence at the height of her powers as a writer of extraordinary craft and profound insight into the workings of the human heart.
Publisher: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 1998
ISBN: 9780771047077
077104707X
Branch Call Number: FIC Laure 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 336 p

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t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Jan 30, 2017

Stone angel is a novel written by the Canadian novelist Margaret Laurence. Laurence writes as a 94 year old women whose name is Hagar Shipley. Hagar is physically not well but refuses help because of her pride. She lived till the end of her life, refusing the help of others as she wanted to maintain her dignity. This novel teaches the readers one lesson, that humans need to live till the end of their lives with some sense of personal value. I highly recommend this book if you want to experience the pride that every human beings have, and what we go through to maintain our dignity.
- @mockingbird of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

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Elle_80
Jan 20, 2016

I started this book wondering if it's going anywhere. At first it seemed dull, with no real plot. But I was wrong. It's a slow build up to not much, but it pulls you in. I don't think anyone under the age of 40, will relate much. This is a good book. I'll read it again when I'm 60

w
wyenotgo
Aug 21, 2015

One of Laurence's least depressing books but it still left me wondering "what was the point of all this?" Hagar, unlike most of Laurence's lead characters, at least makes a valiant effort to escape her self-imposed life of tedium. But in the end, she falls victim to her own personality limitations. The story and the characters are believable and seem true to life but that, without a transformative (or at least liberating) moment left me wondering why the author devoted so much admittedly good writing to such a trivial story.
I understand that this book has at times appeared on the secondary school reading list, I suppose as a good example of "Can-Lit". Mercifully, it wasn't on my list at school or I might have enjoyed Grade 11 English Lit somewhat less than I did. I gather it even got a few uptight parents upset because Hagar actually (horrors!) has an illicit sexual relationship. Without reading that book those kids would never hear of such goings-on.
Oh well, at least Laurence succeeded in getting someone worked up, so I guess it was worthwhile ...

A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Indulge in the sarcastic wit of Hagar Shipley, as she recalls her loves and life throughout her 90 years. Follow up with the movie from this library. A Canadian author."

s
sydneymore
Jul 07, 2013

Heartbreaking and beautiful, the story of Hagar Shipley is among my favourites.

g
genki2genki
Feb 18, 2013

If the perspective had been from a male point of view, ah, how much easier it would be for people to get! It seems because she is old and female, it isn't right that she is one tough old bird. It's not my favourite work by Laurence, but it works at so many levels. Hell, it's just a great story. If you are forced to read it for school, deal with it! Don't worry about whether you like it or not. And remember, one day you'll be old too. Maybe then the book will haunt you. Meantime, it is a novel I will always treasure.

d
dera444
May 11, 2012

I loved cranky old Hagar. Margaret Laurence is one of my favorite authors, her characters are so real.

t
technojoy
Jun 06, 2011

Unspeakably bleak.

v
vwruleschick
Mar 31, 2011

Story is told from Hagar's perspective when she is 90 years of age and is reflecting back on situations of her growing up with two older brothers a single Scottish father in Manakawa, Manitoba at the turn of the century. She tells of her childhood and relationship with her family and friends. Later, to the storms of her marriage to Brampton Shipley and her raisings of her sons, Marvin and John. While dealing with the death of her mother, brother, father, son and husband. All the while, she is determined not to go into a nursing home and runaway to old fishing village to avoid Marvin and Doris's decision for her future care. She meets some intriguing characters in a hospital in her adventures, before it all comes to an end.

o
oliviay
Dec 16, 2009

Maybe it's because I'm young, but I though this was terrible.

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e
Elle_80
Jan 20, 2016

Elle_80 thinks this title is suitable for 45 years and over

s
sydneymore
Jul 07, 2013

sydneymore thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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