Watts, Leander. Stonecutter.

Author:Rosser, Claire
Position:Book Review - Young Adult Review - Brief Article

Hougton Mifflin 181p. c2002. 0-618-16474-X. $15.00 JS

Stonecutter is a gothic tale with mythic elements. In diary form, the narrator, a young stonecutter from upstate New York in the first half of the 19th century, tells about how he is chosen for a strange job in a strange place. A mysterious character named John Good (who seems anything but good) hires him to travel some distance to the grand mansion he is building in order to make a memorial to his long-dead wife. John Good's daughter Michal looks just like her dead mother, and she will be the model for the stonecutter (named Albion Straight). Albion hates the feel of the mansion, which seems like a prison to him. And the cave where the wife is buried, where the memorial will be, is an eerie place of dread. When Albion gets to know Michal better as she poses for the gravestone cutting, he learns that she too feels like a prisoner in her father's house. She yearns to escape to Manhattan and beyond, to get as far away from her father as possible. Nothing is ever spelled out as to the relationship between father and daughter, but an evil emanates from any scene between the two and suggestive language abounds as to whether this is an incestuous...

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