The Secret Language of Stones, by MJ Rose was surprisingly easy to get into. I found myself drawn to the plot almost instantly, even though the elements of the story itself defied belief. In essence, the story is about a young woman in World War one Paris, who has the ability to commune with the dead while grappling with survivor’s guilt.
What I really enjoyed about the story was how the main character, Opaline, was characterized – we experience World War I in Paris through her eyes, and the author did an excellent job ensuring that it was vivid and authentic.
Another interesting element, in addition to the horrors of war, was the use of Russian exiles as a subplot. I have not read much about the perspective of Russians on the outside looking in as their country collapses, and it was meaningful to consider.
The description and characterization were on point. However, the story did have some flaws in my opinion. I could have used less ghost sex scenes, personally, and I felt the villain of the story was a bit obvious. I also thought the ending really left too many unresolved questions, and felt that was a little frustrating and too convenient.
That said, I really enjoyed reading this book and found it to be a pleasant diversion. I would be open to reading more from MJ Rose.
Great line – We’re made to love. Even if you think you can stop yourself from feeling, stop yourself from living, your emotions will find a way. They’ll trick you when you least expect it.