Slow Work

Barnes & Noble

Eli Tremaine has had one great regret in his life. When she walks into his shop one day looking for a grave stone for her daughter, their long buried but unresolved past asserts itself amidst her grief and failing marriage.

Eli, a stone mason, is sure of only one thing, a fundamental truth he has learned working stone: You can spend days or weeks whittling a block down toward the essence of what you want from it and lose it all at the crucial moment by giving in to the temptation of the quick and easy stroke. The way to work with stone is the counterintuitive path of most resistance, the patient grinding at the stone's most unyielding core. It is the slowest way to work, but it is the only way to keep the truth in the stone and not leave it on the floor of the shop.

In this wonderfully contemplative novel, the author of The Monk Downstairs, Tim Farrington, once again uses his formidable powers of prose and his keen knowledge of the human condition to fashion this story of how we fall and get up again. Using the slow work of carving tombstones as a metaphor, he tells the story of two people who have loved each other for most of their lives, but the weight of grief and regret may be too much to overcome the weight of their shared past - and their heartfelt, electric present.

Edison McDaniels’s wonderfully evocative narration brings a further authenticity to the words and is a delight for the listener.