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Stones for Ibarra

Stones for Ibarra

3 Responses

  1. Ooops!  Misadventures with the calendar and I’ll miss this week’s meeting.  Boo.  Then again, I can’t exactly wish that loved ones stop celebrating birthdays, now, can I?

    I read “Stones for Ibarra” over the weekend and was soon struck by the similarity to Steinbeck’s “Pastures of Heaven” – a village to small to be shown on any map.  I was very much drawn into a definite place with it’s own culture in almost stand-alone short stories but as a piece of a larger story.  I thought the author telling the ending of the tale before telling the details of the events added to the general sadness of the book and although I found some things amusing, they weren’t nearly as ha-ha funny as Steinbeck’s restaurant run by the sisters who had to find alternative marketing to sell their tacos. 

    Intersting to me also, the backdrop of the mine.  My current employer is a half step removed from the mining industry and I pretty nearly understood the operation.  I should note that today’s safety standards in mines all over the globe have vastly improved from this story’s mine.

    I was a little confused though by the title.  Definitely referring to different stones than “Cutting for Stone.”  (I think.)  I saw the stones as part of  livelihood, stones as colored part of landscape, and stones for memorials.

    Anyhoo, I enjoyed the book and will miss the discussion and y’all that are doing the discussing.


    1. Hi Kristi – As always, it was a good discussion; Janet’s commentary was especially illuminating. And we missed you Kristi, but yes, birthdays of loved ones should trump book club. Your remarks about the Steinbeck tie-in are terrific. I hadn’t thought of that,  but you are right. I also like your thinking about the “stones.” For me, the stories almost became the stones themselves. And now a comment about Janet’s email to the entire group, encouraging them to join in the online discussion: Thank you, Janet!

      Hope we see you next month, Kristi.


  2. Hi Kristi

    You are right, you know. The chapters were originally written as short stories. For a good article about the author and the book’s history, look on line for a Stanford Magazine 1997 article titled “Late Bloomer”. I believe it will enhance your appreciation of the book. As to the memorial stones left “when people pass and remember”, I think the stories themselves are “stones for Ibarra”. 


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