Set in the first half of the twentieth century, but reaching back to Bavaria in the late nineteenth century, The Stone Carvers weaves together the story of ordinary lives marked by obsession and transformed by art. At the centre of a large cast of characters is Klara Becker, the granddaughter of a master carver, a seamstress haunted by a love affair cut short by the First World War, and by the frequent disappearances of her brother Tilman, afflicted since childhood with wanderlust. From Ontario, they are swept into a colossal venture in Europe years later, as Toronto sculptor Walter Allward's ambitious plans begin to take shape for a war memorial at Vimy, France.
Spanning three decades, and moving from a German-settled village in Ontario to Europe after the Great War, The Stone Carvers follows the paths of immigrants, labourers, and dreamers. Vivid, dark, redemptive, this is novel of great beauty and power.
Jane Urquhart is the author of six novels including Away (1993), The Stone Carvers (2001) and A Map of Glass (2005), as well as a collection of short fiction and four volumes of poetry. She has written a biography of L.M. Montgomery and is the editor of the Penguin Book of Canadian Short Stories. She lives in Ontario and spends part of the year in Ireland.