THE ICE CHORUS

Sarah Stonich, Author
Sarah Stonich, Author . Little, Brown $24.95 (330p) ISBN 978-0-316-81555-0
Reviewed on: 01/10/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-1-84688-082-7
Paperback - 314 pages - 978-0-615-62135-7
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Here's an Irish-style yarn: a woman of many nicknames meets an artist "considered ugly by most," has a paint-splattered affair with him and then finds comfort in exile at an unhandsome ocean house in Ireland. Stonich (These Granite Islands ) pays homage to the Irish storytelling tradition in this sophisticated and fully realized tale of love and forgiveness. Lise is an amateur documentary filmmaker from Canada who loses herself in other people's stories. Having fled to Ireland after her affair ended her marriage and earned her the resentment of her 17-year-old son, Lise documents the stories of the inhabitants of the place where she lives, far from "postcard Ireland, just a small town at low tide." Here she waits for the artist, Charlie, to come to her and rekindle the love they discovered during their whirlwind affair on a trip to Mexico. Amid all this storytelling, Lise allows memories of her philandering father, who died young, to permeate her consciousness. The love story between Lise and Charlie, told in flashbacks, is rose-tinted, but provides a welcome respite from the stark realism of Lise's adjustment to rural Ireland. Midlife renewal and the power of art to transform life are celebrated in this bittersweet tale. Agent, Wendy Sherman. (Feb. 23)

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