Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2003
Stones for Ibarra by Harriet Doerr
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 2:27pm

I needed a break from murder mysteries and this was a pleasant one.
This is a novel about an early middle aged couple who return to Ibarra, Mexico to restore the husband's grandparents house and to reopen his copper mine. After the move, Richard finds out he has leukemia and has only 6 years to live. It is a description of their lives and the village happenings during this time. It was a very pleasant story.

Here is the book's synopsis:

"At first dark of a January evening, two Americans drive into the plaza of Ibarra, a village that lies a mile and half high on Mexico's central plateau. Richard and Sara Everton, just over and under forty, have mortgaged, sold, and borrowed, left friends and country to settle in this remote spot. They intend to spend the rest of their lives here, in a place neither of them has seen, to speak a language neither of them knows, to learn a new landscape and new seasons. Richard expects to reopen his grandfather's abandoned copper mine and, with Sara, to occupy his grandfather's abandoned house. By April, pumps and ladders have been installed in the Malaguena mine. By May, the adobe house is whitewashed inside and out. In July, Richard learns he has six years to live.

Richard's determination to make the mine and village prosper in the time left to him matches Sara's effort to deny the doctor's diagnosis and bend fate by sheer force of will. While Richard measures time, she rejects its passage.

The two Americans, Ibarra's only foreigners, live out the promised span among people who respect and misunderstand them, in a place where myth is at war with reason and magic with reality. The village and its inhabitants, at first enigmas to the Evertons, become a commitment. The lives of the villagers and their raptures and tragedies, their acceptance of a relentless providence, have much to teach the Evertons. By the time they leave Ibarra, it has become their world.


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2002
Sat, 08-22-2009 - 10:06pm

Bev thanks for the review. This sounds like a great story and I'm going to check and see if my library has it. Definitely would be a new author for me as well.