A young man translates Dante while a daughter tries to translate her father’s silence. An honest worker translates his unemployment into eagerness to find a job, then puts his all into making the next job work. His wife translates despair into honest preparation. And all the unspoken words behind the board meeting, bored meters, greeters, salesmen, creators and union reps fall into the gaps between what’s really meant and what’s said.
Love blooms in the translation of poetry, Italian to English, promise to life, and there’s a curiously satisfying symmetry of parents encountering their children’s friends, meeting strangers, struggling without the ones who made them safe, all matched by Dante’s sense of beauty and loss.
Behind it all is the facade of a once-great company struggling to retain its market share. This novel’s set in the very real, very modern world of financial chaos and loss. The ways of the old world might not work anymore. New strategies, new paradigms take over. And an old man, like a stone lion in front of a glass-fronted tower block, might soon feel out of place, roaring because lions are meant to roar but lacking the teeth to fight.
Of course, stone lions can be beautiful in any surroundings. Age can find purpose. Love can be renewed. And, though the world’s never perfect, there will be a way through.
William Eisner’s The Stone Lion brings the worlds of big business, research and development, sales and marketing to life. They’re not my favorite worlds, but the author peoples them with fascinating characters and crafts an interesting mix of interpersonal and company relationships, keeping me reading and eager to see how the tale might end. It ends well. I like this lion.
Disclosure: I received a free bound galley of this novel from the publisher.
Title: The Stone Lion
Author: William Eisner
Publisher: The Permanent Press
Pub date: Feb 2013