|Solovetsky Stone in Moscow CC, Andy House
|Piece of coal from Ukraine
I’ve always been drawn to stone, as my previous book titles confirm, and my fascination with them goes beyond my writing. I have stones with a variety of histories scattered throughout my home and garden. Their timelessness, their uniqueness, their silence attracts me—they bear witness to history.
|Baltic Amber posing as stones
|Red Stone from windmill's
foundation in Federofka, Ukraine
This ordinary-looking stone monument was unveiled in 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. October 30th is marked as the annual day to remember victims of political oppression. How was that day handled last month? I missed hearing about it.
The granite boulder comes from the Solovetsky Islands in the northern White Sea. One of my uncles perished out there. An older brother of my mom’s, he was arrested along with her father. I never created a character out of him for my earlier novels (The Kulak’s Daughter or Red Stone) because he wasn’t in the photos done before and after the 1930 exile and his very existence seemed murky. If there’s no photo, then did he really exist? Now that’s a scary thought.
|Limestone from shores of Lake Winnipeg
|Stone stories from my
daughter's Europe trip
Because stones can't talk—they can only listen—they need us to speak for them. Stepping stones, indeed.
Now I need to follow-up with the Blue Scarf.