By Margaret Laurence
In The Stone Angel, Hagar Shipley, age 90, tells the tale of her existence, and in doing so attempts to return to phrases with how the very characteristics which sustained her have disadvantaged her of pleasure. Mingling earlier and current, she keeps delight within the face of senility, whereas recalling the existence she led as a rebellious younger bride, and later as a grieving mom. Laurence provides us in Hagar a girl who's humorous, infuriating, and heartbreakingly poignant.
"This is a revelation, no longer impersonation. The impact of such expert use of language is to guide the reader in the direction of the self-recognition that Hagar misses."—Robertson Davies, New York Times
"It is [Laurence's] admirable success to strike, with an both definite contact, the extraordinary word and the common; she provides us a portrait of a striking personality and even as the image of previous age itself, with the discomfort, the weariness, the phobia, the impotent angers and actual mishaps, the conclusion that others are ready and wishing for an end."—Honor Tracy, The New Republic
"Miss Laurence is the simplest fiction author within the Dominion and the most effective within the hemisphere."—Atlantic
"[Laurence] demonstrates in The Stone Angel that she has a real novelist's present for catching a personality in mid-passion and lifestyles at complete flood. . . . As [Hagar Shipley] daydreams and chatters and lurches throughout the novel, she lines probably the most convincing—and the main touching—portraits of an unregenerate sinner declining into senility on account that Sara Monday went to her present in Joyce Cary's The Horse's Mouth."—Time
"Laurence's triumph is in her evocation of Hagar at 90. . . . We sympathize along with her in her resistance to being moved to a nursing domestic, in her preposterous flight, in her impatience within the medical institution. Battered, depleted, soreness, she rages along with her final breath opposed to the loss of life of the sunshine. The Stone Angel is an outstanding novel, admirably written and sustained by means of unfailing insight."—Granville Hicks, Saturday Review
"The Stone Angel is an efficient booklet simply because Mrs. Laurence avoids sentimentality and condescension; Hagar Shipley remains to be passionately curious about the puzzle of her personal nature. . . . Laurence's imaginitive tact is strikingly at paintings, for absolutely this is often what it appears like to be old."—Paul Pickrel, Harper's