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Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr []



Stones for Ibarra tells the story of Sara and Richard Everton, who have moved from California to the remote and small village of Ibarra, Mexico to reopen Richard’s grandfather’s copper mine. They have been lured there by photographs and the tales of older relatives: “They have experienced the terrible persuasion of a great-aunt’s recollections and adopted them as their own. They have not considered that memories are like corks left out of bottles. They swell. They no longer fit.” Instead of the beautiful grounds and tennis courts, they come to a house which no longer has shingles and a mine that has been flooded. They persevere, and get the mine up and running, having a large affect on the village and villagers. We learn of Sara’s experience with the villagers, although they always remain slightly apart, and her experience of her husband’s illness.
One of the most remarkable things about this book is that it was published when the author was 73 and won the National Book Award, which means I still have time to publish my own novel!

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