Carved in Stone by Donna McDonald
4* – stick with it
This book was totally not what I was expecting. I have to admit that when I started reading it I almost gave up before I began. The first few paragraphs were very poorly written and there are a few spelling mistakes here and there. Not really enough to be noticeable, but the odd missing word was a little jarring.
I’m so glad I stuck with it. It turned out to be quite a powerful story.
Will is the man whose wife cheated on him and then divorced him a year ago. Determined that he would never again be with someone who didn’t understand his art, he’s remained single until the right woman comes along.
Jessica is the opposite – outwardly flirtatious and bold, she’s had more men than I’ve had hot dinners but none of them are able to really see inside her.
It’s hard not to get drawn into the symbolism of the book, to really understand the way the two sculptors’ work is their only way of baring their souls to the world. You can understand why Will panics when Jess touches his statue…it’s like she’s laying hands on the rawest part of himself that no-one else has ever seen before. I identified a lot with Jessica. Sometimes you go through things in life that damage you irrevocably and it’s hard not to empathise with a character that deals with it so well in certain respects and so badly in others. It brings her off the page and makes her seem human. Sometimes people in your life die and there’s too much else going on to let you really grieve for them. I know. I’ve been there and done it. The way Ms McDonald has portrayed that is really powerful. To a certain extent I relate to Will as well. As a creative person it can be really draining when people don’t understand your work or why you do it.
The book is prevented from being too angsty by Shane and Michael, the two gentle but wisecracking sons who seem to know what their dad needs better than he does himself. Again, there was so much in them to empathise with – the way they feel about their parents and their constant relationship faux pas. There were several times I actually laughed out loud while reading and I consider that a mark of good writing.
All in all, very much enjoyed and will read the rest of the series.