THE STONE HEART by Leo Harrell Lynn


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A debut novel details love lost through the voice of a compassionate but jaded writer.

Protagonist Stone Lyon begins his narration in the Prologue with a disclaimer: “This journal is meant for those who still fall for the fairytale of true love, to educate them in the folly behind this mindless faith by revealing the ravages that come from believing in hopes and dreams, passion and love.” He recounts his family’s history and the story of his own life, spending his childhood in Mobile, Alabama, and then moving to California on the whim of his father. Throughout his trajectory, the protagonist deals with an immense amount of losses, starting at a young age when a new friend puts himself in danger to save Stone from being murdered. As a young adult, he suffers multiple tragedies in the form of suicides involving friends and lovers. He continues to persevere and pursue his dream of becoming a journalist, but the extensive heartache he has endured starts to take a toll on his spirit. He soon finds himself working as a counselor in a home for troubled youth, as his “savior goal exploded into manic passion” as a way to cope with his trauma. As the tale progresses, Stone continues to face difficult setbacks, sparking a preoccupation with his own death. Beginning the poignant novel with Stone’s ultimate expectation of committing suicide, Lynn sets a tone of palpable tension that propels the plot forward. The journalistic narrative is engrossing, and readers should find themselves absorbed in Stone’s retelling of his countless misfortunes, driven by their curiosity and the desire to find the reasons that he has decided to kill himself. While the story is rich in detail and intricate character development, the subject matter is heavy and not for the faint of heart. But the multitude of tribulations that Stone copes with, while depressing, helps the reader to understand more fully why he feels the way he does.

A captivating, heart-wrenching mosaic of life experiences encompassing family, tragedy, mental health, and fortitude.  

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-5320-0661-6
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: iUniverse
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2017


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