Stone Cradle is a book that makes me want to give up writing. It is as near perfect as writing can get, and makes me question whether I can ever get even half-way as good.
I read quite analytically these days – all too often I spot the strings on the puppets or the hand of the puppeteer, or their bald head poking up. But Stone Cradle is flawless – all I could do was stand in awe of the writer’s skill and get carried away with the story. It’s one of those books I want to buy for everyone I know.
There are two main points of view – Clementina and Rose. It is not that they are unreliable narrators, to use the jargon – both tell different aspects to the story and though their accounts are often contrary you find yourself empathising with and believing the credibility of both.
The research behind it is thorough – so much so that most readers probably won’t realise the hours that went into constructing the story, brick by brick – it all seems to flow so effortlessly.
The novel captures superbly a core truth about families: their strifes, misunderstandings, loves and missed opportunities.I don’t like giving stars to books – they all have their own merits and many deserve reading for different reasons, but I have no hesitation with this – it is one of the best novels I have read in years – Booker winners and classics of English Literature included.