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Stones By William Bell.pdfl

Stones by William Bell

Stones is a young adult novel by the Canadian author William E. Bell, published in 2001. The novel is narrated by Garnet Havelock, a teenage boy who lives in Orillia, Ontario. He becomes haunted by the ghost of a Haitian woman who was stoned to death in the 19th century for being accused of witchcraft. The novel explores the themes of racism, religious intolerance, and the conflict between science and faith.

Plot summary

Garnet Havelock is a senior student who has no interest in school and cannot wait to graduate. He is also skeptical of anything supernatural and believes that science can explain everything. One night, he gets stranded in a snowstorm and takes shelter in an old African Methodist Church. There, he experiences a terrifying vision of a black woman screaming in agony and begging for mercy. He later learns that the woman was Marie-Joseph Angélique, a Haitian slave who escaped from Montreal and settled in Orillia with her lover, Pierre. She was accused of setting fire to the town and practicing witchcraft, and was stoned to death by a mob of angry townspeople in 1832.


Garnet becomes obsessed with finding out more about Angélique's story and why she is haunting him. He meets Raphaella Skye, a new girl in his class who is interested in paranormal phenomena and claims to have psychic abilities. She helps him investigate the mystery and they develop a romantic relationship. They discover that Angélique's spirit is trapped in a stone that was used to kill her, and that the stone is hidden somewhere in the church. They also learn that there is a connection between Angélique's fate and the attack on Garnet's mother, who is a journalist covering the conflict in East Timor. She was injured by a bomb planted by religious fanatics who opposed her reporting.

Garnet and Raphaella face many obstacles and dangers as they try to free Angélique's spirit and expose the truth behind her death. They encounter hostility from some of their classmates, who accuse Raphaella of being a witch and bully her. They also face opposition from Reverend McPhee, the pastor of the church, who wants to keep the stone hidden and prevent Angélique from being vindicated. He believes that Angélique was evil and deserved to die, and that Garnet and Raphaella are meddling with forces they do not understand. He tries to sabotage their efforts and even threatens them with violence.

In the end, Garnet and Raphaella manage to find the stone and break it, releasing Angélique's spirit. They also uncover evidence that proves that Angélique was innocent of the crimes she was accused of, and that she was actually a hero who saved many lives during the fire. They publish their findings in the local newspaper and expose Reverend McPhee's corruption. They also receive good news from Garnet's mother, who has recovered from her injuries and is coming home soon. Garnet realizes that he has learned a lot from his experience with Angélique, and that he has grown as a person. He also acknowledges that there are some things that science cannot explain, and that he has found true love with Raphaella.


One of the main themes of the novel is racism, which is shown through the treatment of Angélique by the white settlers who persecuted her for being black and different. The novel also depicts how racism persists in modern times, as Raphaella faces discrimination for being biracial and having an unconventional lifestyle. The novel challenges the stereotypes and prejudices that are often associated with people of color, and shows how they can overcome them with courage and dignity.

Another theme is religious intolerance, which is illustrated by the conflict between Reverend McPhee and Garnet's mother. Reverend McPhee represents the extreme side of religion, which uses faith as an excuse to oppress others and justify violence. He believes that he has the right to impose his beliefs on others and punish those who disagree with him. Garnet's mother represents the opposite side of religion, which uses faith as a source of inspiration and compassion. She respects other people's beliefs and values human rights above all else. She also supports Garnet's quest for truth and justice.

A third theme is the clash between science and faith, which is represented by Garnet and Raphaella. Garnet is a rationalist who relies on logic and evidence to understand the world. He initially dismisses Angélique's haunting as a hallucination and rejects Raphaella's psychic claims as nonsense. Raphaella is a spiritualist who trusts her intuition and feelings to guide her. She believes that Angélique's haunting is real and that she has a special connection with her. She also believes that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in Garnet's philosophy. The novel shows how science and faith can complement each other, and how both are necessary to solve the mystery and help Angélique.


The novel received positive reviews from critics and readers, who praised its plot, characters, and themes. The novel was described as \"accessible and highly involving\", \"appealing to a wide age of readers\", and \"a suspenseful, absorbing read\" . The novel also won the Young Adult Book Award in 2002. A sequel to the novel, Fanatics, was published in 2011.


: Posesorski, Sherie (2001). \"Review of Stones by William Bell\". Quill & Quire.

: Fraser, Betsy (19 October 2001). \"Stones\". CM Magazine.

: \"Young Adult Canadian Book Award\". Canadian Library Association. 16 July 2002.

: \"Fanatics (Garnet and Raphaella, #2)\".


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