BOOK CLUB: Skimming Stones

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Skimming Stones by Maria Papas is a stunning novel that had me absorbed from page one and didn’t stop until the very end.

It’s an emotional read about Grace, a Perth-based oncology nurse whose memories of her sister’s leukemia resurface when she’s treating Zoe on the ward.

Grace first met Nate, her lover, while playing the support roles of siblings to seriously ill children, and the bond that connects them.

Reconnecting they begin an affair that they know no one else would understand, but their push to be together is drawn from their experiences.

Grace knows she must decide whether to continue her relationship with Nate, while also considering other aspects of her life, culture, and heritage and the impact of her background.

The story alternates between childhood and adulthood timelines, with a vivid portrayal of the experiences of family members impacted by illness and potential death.

While the story may sound depressing, it’s an incredibly uplifting read, which appears to be effortless in its attempt to get to the heart of the emotions.

The characters are richly portrayed, and the settings are described so perfectly you can imagine it. It’s a short book and an easy read, but it certainly packs a punch. I read most of it on day one, simply because I couldn’t put it down. The cover is also stunning.

Thanks to Fremantle Press and Beauty and Lace for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Author: Maria Papas
ISBN: 9781760990640

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Skimming Stones by Maria Papas. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

6 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Skimming Stones

  1. I had the pleasure of reading Skimming Stones by Maria Pappas and I loved it. It didn’t take me long to read but it certainly had me turning the page, engaged to see how each character moved through this storyline. I was loving following the story from the past as well as the present. Well done Maria, I was very fond of Grace!

  2. Skimming Stones was a beautifully written novel, and I can see why it won the Hungerford Award. It tells the story of how cancer affects the siblings of the sick child. I also loved the fact that it was set in Lake Clifton, and the references to the author’s Greek heritage. A quick, but compelling read.

  3. Great read! The story follows a girl whose sister had cancer from a young age. The author shines a light on the impacts of cancer on siblings and how they can have life long challenges as a result. I love how everything always comes back to the salt and the lake, it resonated with me.

  4. I loved this book and it wasn’t a really long one that went on and on.
    Maria Pappas has done a great job of showing the impacts of childhood cancer on the patients siblings and family.
    I highly recommend this book, not just for what it taught me but the characters were very very likeable.
    Thank you so much for letting me review this book.

  5. Skimming Stones is a heartfelt and beautifully written novel about the impacts of childhood cancer on the patient and their loved ones. I found Maria Pappas’ writing to be very engaging and immersive and look forward to reading more from her.

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Fremantle Press for providing a copy for review.

  6. Skimming Stones by Maria Papas was an interesting read that I thought was good but just didn’t quite love.
    The story revolves around Grace and switches between current day where she is a paediatric nurse working in the oncology ward to her past where her sister was one of those children in the oncology ward.
    In the current day she unexpectedly runs into a childhood friend Nate from this past. His brother was in the same ward and they bonded being in similar circumstances, they understood each other. Running into Nate that day sets off a sad chain of events leading to an affair which forces Grace to make a momentous decision.
    Grace’s work constantly brings the past back to her and when faced one day with yet another emergency it casts her back and you start to get more of a glimpse of how things were. How hard it was being the sibling of someone with cancer.
    Grace’s past is sad and you do feel for her having to live through such a traumatic upbringing. Her sister has leukaemia and has to go live in the hospital and their mother goes with her leaving Grace with her father. Grace’s father doesn’t know how look after himself let alone understand how to raise a child. Plus, Grace’s parents relationship starts to deteriorate and only worsens each time Grace’s mother comes home. The father is eventually asked to leave only making things even harder for Grace to endure.
    Grace meets a lady during all this turmoil who she attaches herself too, Harriet. Harriet becomes like an aunty to Grace, her support person and helps her cope and grow and become her own person through this difficult time.
    There are a lot of different tangents to this book which helped you build an understanding of Grace but I still found it really hard to resonate with her. I just found her personality frustrating which is probably why I didn’t love the book.
    Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to read this though, it was interesting!

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