Ben is the youngest child in a family of women. His father has died leaving the whole in the family living simultaneous but unconnected lives. That is until Great-aunt Frieda comes to visit. The story of Ben in Men of Stone weaves together some history of the Russian Mennonites who emigrated to Canada and a contemporary story of a boy’s coming of age. Gayle Friesen’s writing is descriptive and the characters are complex and interesting. Some of the the teenaged slang feels forced at first but it either gets better or as one gets enthralled with the story it ceases to matter. The ending is slightly Hollywood but is tinged with some uncertainty. An enjoyable read.
Thematically fits with immigration, new Canadians, coming of age, being different, friendship, family, history, Mennonites.