June 1, 2008

Stone Creek

**Laura Knight is the winner of the give-away!**

Stone Creek by Victoria Lustbader
Contemporary Fiction
2008 HarperCollins
Finished on 5/18/08
Rating: 3.5/5 (Good)

Publisher's Description:

In a small town in upstate New York, a random meeting will offer hope and the chance of love for two lonely people.

Though he still grieves for the young wife he loved and lost, Danny, a widower, knows he must move on for the sake of Caleb, his five-year-old son. Lily has arrived at her summer house, determined to forget her yearning for a child while her high-powered workaholic husband, Paul, remains in New York.

When Lily and Danny meet while volunteering for a local charity, something immediate and undeniable happens between them. Neither one can ignore that Lily is married and ten years older than Danny, but it is Danny's son, Caleb, who continues to bring them together. Missing his mother, Caleb is growing attached to Lily, and neither Danny nor she wants to upset the delicate balance that holds the boy's happiness. But Danny and Lily find themselves, too, balancing on a high-wire act between happiness and despair.

Stone Creek is a novel of tremendous emotional impact that illuminates the power of love and loss to transform — and break — the human heart.

I'd never heard of Victoria Lustbader until I stumbled upon the ARC for Stone Creek. After reading the publisher's blurb on the back cover, I decided to give it a try, thinking it might be a good summer read. Having recently read Keeper and Kid (which also centers around a father raising a young son after the death of his wife), I was curious to see how this author would handle the issue of a husband's grief. While the plot had the potential of becoming quite sappy (say, along the lines of Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks), I was pleasantly surprised, deciding that it actually had more depth and style than I had expected, more like one of Anne Rivers Siddons' or Elizabeth Berg's works than something by Steel or Sparks. As with Berg's domestic descriptions, Lustbader's attention to detail enabled me to easily picture the characters and their individual settings, and I was immediately pulled into the story, finding myself looking for a free afternoon to get back to my reading (rather than pulling weeds or washing my filthy car!).

Lustbader is definitely an author I'll read again. Her previous novel, Hidden, sounds interesting, as does her work-in-progress, currently titled Approaching The Speed of Light. Stone Creek is sure to be a popular beach read and I plan to include it on my upcoming "What's In Your Beach Bag?" end cap at work. And, to help kick off the beginning of summer, I'm offering my Advanced Reader's Copy to one of you lucky blogophiles. Leave me a comment and I'll throw your name in the hat.


  1. Sounds like a good summer read. I've never heard of this book or author.

    Toss my name into the hat, please.

  2. I got a copy from Book Club Girl recently and hope to read it soon. Thanks for the review!

  3. This one sounds pretty good! I'm about to start Keeper and Kid, since you mentioned it. Looking forward to it!

  4. Toss my name into the hat too -- it sounds like something I'd love to take on vacation with me.

  5. Why, yes I'd love to be thrown into a hat!

    You said, "While the plot had the potential of becoming quite sappy (say, along the lines of Danielle Steel or Nicholas Sparks), I was pleasantly surprised..." and it made me think of how I'm deeply embarrassing myself by reading Norah Roberts' High Noon right now (I HAVE to have something light!), and I'm actually caught up in the story. Who knew?! Isn't it nice to be pleasantly surprised?

  6. I recently found your blog. Please enter me in the contest.

    Two of my favorite authors are Anne Rivers Siddons and Elizabeth Berg so if you're comparing this author to them, it must be a good read.

    I'll definitely be putting this on my to-be-read list. Thanks!

  7. The name Victoria Lustbader sounds familiar but . . . wait, is there an Eric? Hang on, I have to look. Okay, Eric VAN Lustbader. Close. Mind like a steel sieve. You're having way too much fun with those ARCs, aren't you? :)

  8. As lauraknight said, I concur that Anne Rivers Siddons rocks! I almost feel like reading Colony again. And, Bookfool, mind like a steel sieve: I was thinking of Eric myself when I first read Les' post. What do two sieves make: a hole?

  9. Sounds more like my type of story than Hidden appears to be, so I'd enjoy a visit to the hat. :)

  10. And, see, Les, you liked Stone Creek more than I did. I did the Library Journal review, and I recommended it as a marginal purchase for larger libraries.

    And, she's married to Eric Van Lustbader.

    So, I liked The Wednesday Sisters a little better, and you liked this one a little better.

  11. I had plan on putting this on my wish list so certainly want to put my name amongst those in the hat. It sounds good.

  12. Anonymous1:57 PM

    Just been following the link since Kelly mentioned this book. Sounds good if it isn't to sappily written.


  13. Les;

    As always I love to read your reviews, when you like a book I am almost always assured I'll like it too!. This one is now on my TBR list, but feel free to throw me into the hat with all the others :)

  14. Laura - You won my give-away contest. Please send me your snail-mail address. My email is lscher at neb dot rr dot com. Congrats!!

  15. Does anyone know Laura Knight? She doesn't have a Blogger profile, so I can't notify her via email or blog comment that she's won the book. I posted the news here, but so far haven't heard back from her. If any of you know how to get in touch with her, can you send me an email? Thanks!


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