Stella Bain

Stella Bain

by Anita Shreve

Hardcover

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Stella Bain 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
An interesting look at memory loss. I received a free copy of this book from a Goodreads, First Reads giveaway in exchange for my honest opinion. Stella Bain is an American woman who is found wandering in an exclusive garden in London in 1916. She only has memories going back a few months. Surgeon August Bridge and his wife Lily selflessly take her into their home and try to help her regain her memory. The premise of this story is very good. The slow development of the main character as well as the revelations of her past intrigued me. The problem that I did struggle with was it was written in the third person. Yet whenever it went into a long period of dialogue it seemed odd to me, like it had an uneven flow to it. I’m not sure if it switched from the third person or not. It just felt awkward. I do recommend this book based on the quality of the storyline. The distraction from the third person presentation/dialogue issue is the reason that I only give it 4 stars.
Mirella More than 1 year ago
In the novel, Stella Bain, author Anita Shreve takes us back into the turbulence of World War I, the declining Edwardian era, and the gender restrictions imposed on women. This absorbing story is about a young woman who worked as an ambulance driver in France. She is discovered shell-shocked and suffering from amnesia; all she can tell anyone is that her name is Stella Bain. But is it? Day by day, as Stella begins to heal, tiny recollections of memories, of locations, of names, flash into her mind. Determined to answer the questions of her past, she is compelled to unravel the secrets of her past, who she really is, and where she came from. What follows is a compelling, engrossing mystery. The novel embraces strong topics such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, especially as it affected women at the time, the rights of women and societal expectations and norms, while delivering a poignant love story of pain and loss and healing.   Anita Shreve excels at drilling down deep into the human spirit, of unleashing great emotion, and all while telling a riveting story. This is very much a character driven novel, but it also has a touching mystery at its roots that definitely keeps the reader turning the pages. I highly recommend this novel for anyone wishing to cozy up to a deep, insightful story of ultimate triumph. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I always look forward to Anita Shreve's new book and usually read it in a day, as I did this one. It grabbed me from the beginning - a good story of a lost woman and how she comes around to finding out who she is. I did not like the last part of the book . I feel like the last part was just a series of long sentences used to tie it all together and let you know what happens to the characters. I liked the story line, loved Stella Bain but was disappointed in how it came together in the end.  I will still look forward to the nest book but this one will not be my favorite.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Didn't like the writing - story basically OK - sorry Ms Shreve I can not recommend this one
ambd More than 1 year ago
Great book. Very intriguing. Exemplifies a woman's strength in purpose. Loved this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this book because of the author. Very slow moving. Story about a woman who loses her memory during her time as a nurse in ww I. The charactets were not well developed. Lots of loose ends. Disappointing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved all of Anita Shreve's books, but Stella Bain was disappointing. It ended very abruptly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt that this was a premise that Shreve did not have the commitment to develop. The ending was weak.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved it, i had picked up this book on clearance, not thinking it wouldnt be any good, it blew me away Would definitely suggest it to anyone looking for a good read.
brf1948 More than 1 year ago
This is set in a period - just before and during World War One - that I enjoy visiting occasionally, and this novel was an excellent diversion. Stella is an American, working with the British and French in a front-line hospital in northern France.  For a portion of the book, she is suffering from amnesia and trying desperately to find out who and what she is.  The book does a bit of time shifting, which was easy enough to follow but you had to pay attention! All in all, an excellent tale, and not one I was able to solve on my own. I would have enjoyed a more prolonged ending - It all seemed to fizzle out, at the end. These are characters I will remember, however, and enjoy. A very good read.  As always, Anita Shreve tells a great tale, with word pictures that touch your heart.   
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Delphimo More than 1 year ago
I listened to this riveting story on audiobook, and despaired when the book ended. The sequence of events proved a little confusing, and the ending seem too rushed. The character of Stella/Etna shows the glimmer of an independent woman emerging from World War I. Stella buys her own cottage, supports herself and her children by drawing medical scenes, hires a lawyer to win custody of her son, and even drives an ambulance during the war. Her determination seems a little too much for this time in our history, but many writers are portraying strong and innovative women. The book also relates the horrors witnessed by the soldiers, doctors, and nurses; and the problems these horrors presented at later times. The new field of psychology trickles into the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I listened to this book as I was driving on vacation. The book's story captured me right away. I will recommend the book to my book club for next year. As others have said, the ending came with some surprise on my part. I was anxious to find out, but then disappointed.
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JacksonvilleReader More than 1 year ago
Not impressed. This is the first book I've read by Anita Shreve and it will probably be the last. I didn't care for her style of writing. It was stiff and at times seemed more like an outline rather than a story. There were also a number of places where the story would jump from one topic to another without any clue as to the transition or rationale. The story concept was good, but just didn't arrive in my view.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stilted and boring. What a disappointment!
ss36 More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed reading this book. Written quite well. I was disappointed that the book was only 200 pages, yet cost $11.99. I wasn't aware of this at the time of purchase.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shreves work is always compelling and a poetic read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Stella Bain by Anita Shreve is an interesting book that holds your attention. In it the author tells the story of a woman who loses and regains everything life holds precious to her. However, it is almost too difficult to believe the situations the woman finds herself in given the period in history the book supposedly takes place. For this reason, I gave the book 4 instead of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lov it a bit short but awesome! Read my fanfic at 'mark' result one!