The Stones of Summer was in the dollar bin at a local Borders (now closed, of course), the catchy title, the wide expanse of sky and plain caught my eye. I thumbed a few pages and those caught my attention, thinking it was a fast paced, moving coming-of-age story. The over-eager blurb on the back cover over-stating how wonderful it was to the critic should have been a bright red flashing and clanging warning bell.
Usually, I can get through any book, however slow and plodding. What I didn’t count on was the overflow of exposition, the long and rambling descriptions of places, the often pointless dialogue. I could only force myself to finish about 1/3 to 1/2 of the book. Never before have I stopped reading a book because it was too boring. And I’ve read ALOT of books.
The characters are often too introspective. What teenager spends pages of inner dialogue? Especially a teenage boy? The grandparents were almost caricatures of farmers and farm wives. The hard-working, dust-covered, hard-bitten farmer, spending twenty hours a day plowing, the hard-as-nails, flour-covered, with-a-soft-heart grandmother toiling away in the kitchen from dusk to midnight, ever mindful of her husbands wants and needs.
Best friends that cause only trouble for the young boy child, where parents are somewhere not to be found raising their seemingly only child. The boy just seems to do whatever he wants with his friends, in his own little world. I don’t know, the book was just unnaturally written and unconvincing.
I would give it a 2, only for sheer size and audacity.