Eyestone: Stories

D. R. MacDonald, Author Pushcart Press $15.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-916366-48-3
Here are nine stories so astonishingly vivid that the gales off Cape Breton chill your bones. The strong men who people these narratives mostly go to sea or, sometimes, like Jack MacLean in ""Work,'' into the forest to fell trees. Too old now to swing an axe or play his fiddle, and on his way with his wife to the senior citizens' home, Jack is still spry enough to drug himself with the rum that will soften the blow of leaving home. Aging is a principal theme, as is loss, heartbreaking in ``The Flowers of Bermuda,'' when a gentle clergyman's death forces Bilkie Sutherland to mourn the unfathomable, never forgotten death of his only son. But there are other kinds of loss as well: of self-trust, for example, when Royce of the title story, who plans to modernize his newly bought property, is made aware by an injury to his eye of the fierce demands on their labor and the long, draining years that have fashioned the skills of the woman tending him. Old Lauchie, in ``Poplars,'' agonizes over his paralyzed limbs, but a bitterness as final as death envelops him when, home on a visit, he finds his house broken apart and trampled by malicious rowdies. These stories reward slow reading so that place names like New Skye and Bras d'Eau can be savored, boating jargon rolled on the tongue. The recipient of the sixth annual Editor's Booth Award for ``overlooked manuscripts of enduring value,'' these tales possess the integrity of life itself. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 206 pages - 978-0-14-012020-2
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