Stone Animals is at once haunting, bizarre, whimsical, and oddly realistic in its depiction of adult relationships. What starts off as a fairly typical story about a family moving out of the city and into a quiet country home quickly transmogrifies into a tale of paranoia, suspicion, and betrayal as Henry and his pregnant wife Catherine (along with their children Tilly and Carleton) realize that their home is under constant surveillance by a large warren of rabbits. Continually called back to the city by his manipulative boss, Henry can only watch helplessly as his wife dons a gas mask every day and goes about painting the rooms of their house one curiously-named color after another. Meanwhile, the children are becoming increasingly convinced that while their new home may not be haunted, everything within it is: a toothbrush, the television, an alarm clock, the cat. Evoking the magic realism of works like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s “Eva Is Inside Her Cat,” the story’s tension mounts as its hallucinatory qualities multiply, and it isn’t long before the fabric of reality (for both the characters and, potentially, readers) starts to unravel. Beautifully illustrated by, among others, Lisa Brown, Anthony Doerr, Ursula K. Le Guinn, and Audrey Niffenegger, Stone Animals is a quirky, haunting gem of a book.
Wow, what a cool sounding book! Wish there was more time in the day to read all this stuff!
Yeah, that’s always a challenge… So many books, so little time!