I first read of this book just before its release last year. I was immediately intrigued, but somehow misplaced the title and author, and with a pile of books to work my way through searching for it fell to the bottom of the priority list, until earlier this year when I was listening to the Podcast ‘So You Want To Be A Writer’ (ep. 103).
(If you are a regular listener to the show, you’ll know that at the end of each interview Alison asks for 3 tips for writers. Meg gave what has to be one of the best writing tips I’ve ever heard: let yourself be your absolute strangest self. (And if you’re not a regular listener I highly recommend you subscribe!))
A Single Stone is the story of Jena. She is leader of the line, a group of seven girls trained since birth to travel the mountain tunnels and crevices to find the mica that fuels their fires over winter. This is the most important work of all, for the winter snows bury their houses, and where wood fires create smoke that makes it hard to breath, the mica burns without smoke. It is the only way they can survive the winter.
The village is led by a group called the Mothers, and Jena trusts in their judgement, as do all the villagers. But something happens – on offhand comment that does not match with what she’s been told, and as Jena attempts to make sense of this one thing, more and more questions arise.
Soon Jena finds life does not have to be the way it is, and there is something better not so far away.
This was a beautiful story, with a fascinating premise. Well worth the read! 🙂