Of all the stories she’s ever been told, watched on screen, or endeavored to make herself, she understands that only those that unfold naturally endure.
The Ice Chorus – Sarah Stonich
At its most basic, The Ice Chorus is a story about a woman named Liselle who had an affair, and has travelled to Ireland to get away from her life. She’s just gotten divorced from her husband, and her teenage son won’t speak to her for more than a minute. The story unfolds moving from the present through flashbacks to show Liselle’s life and how she met the man she loves, and how her relationship with her family changes, and how she ends up in the middle of nowhere on the Irish coast, asking other people how they fell in love, and documenting it all on film. That’s a brief description of the plot. A very brief description, because The Ice Chorus is quite obviously more than just the plot.
The cover of the book has a quote which says: “Any woman who ever had her heart cracked open by a man should read The Ice Chorus.” But I completely disagree. I don’t think having had your heart cracked is a requirement. I think every woman in general should read it (and men too). Yes it deals with love, and loss, and heartbreak; but it deals with more than just those emotions. It shows the fragility of women and the raw hurt of loss, but it also shows the immense strength all women possess, and the unexplainable bond of love.
I can’t rave enough about Sarah Stonich and her writing; it’s just that amazing. The characters are real, and the emotions are heartbreaking and true. She captures these stories and people in a beautifully unique and impossibly artistic way.
4 stars. Read it. And read her first book, These Granite Islands (5 stars), too.