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Aud (it rhymes with "shroud" ) Torvingen is six feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes. She can restore a log cabin with antique tools or put a man in a coma with her bare hands. As imagined by Nicola Griffith in this ferocious masterpiece of literary noir, Aud is a hero who combines the tortured complexity with moral authority. In the aftermath of her lover's murder, the Aud (it rhymes with "shroud" ) Torvingen is six feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes. She can restore a log cabin with antique tools or put a man in a coma with her bare hands. As imagined by Nicola Griffith in this ferocious masterpiece of literary noir, Aud is a hero who combines the tortured complexity with moral authority. In the aftermath of her lover's murder, the last thing a grieving Aud wants is another case. Against her better judgment she agrees to track down an old friend's runaway fiancée--and finds herself up against both a sociopath so artful that the law can't touch him, and the terrible specters of loss and guilt. As stylish as this year's Prada and as arresting as a razor at the throat, Stay places Nicola Griffith in the first rank of new-wave crime writers.


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Aud (it rhymes with "shroud" ) Torvingen is six feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes. She can restore a log cabin with antique tools or put a man in a coma with her bare hands. As imagined by Nicola Griffith in this ferocious masterpiece of literary noir, Aud is a hero who combines the tortured complexity with moral authority. In the aftermath of her lover's murder, the Aud (it rhymes with "shroud" ) Torvingen is six feet tall with blond hair and blue eyes. She can restore a log cabin with antique tools or put a man in a coma with her bare hands. As imagined by Nicola Griffith in this ferocious masterpiece of literary noir, Aud is a hero who combines the tortured complexity with moral authority. In the aftermath of her lover's murder, the last thing a grieving Aud wants is another case. Against her better judgment she agrees to track down an old friend's runaway fiancée--and finds herself up against both a sociopath so artful that the law can't touch him, and the terrible specters of loss and guilt. As stylish as this year's Prada and as arresting as a razor at the throat, Stay places Nicola Griffith in the first rank of new-wave crime writers.

30 review for Stay

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lex Kent

    This was a very good sequel to The Blue Place. If you have not read The Blue Place yet, do not read this one until you do. For those who have, know how heartbreaking The blue Place ended. Stay is about Aud picking up the pieces and staying present in the world. When she would much rather hide or destroy it all. Anyone who reads Griffith, knows how talented and beautifully she writes, this book is no exception. My heart absolutely breaks for Aud, and while you can see her getting her life on track This was a very good sequel to The Blue Place. If you have not read The Blue Place yet, do not read this one until you do. For those who have, know how heartbreaking The blue Place ended. Stay is about Aud picking up the pieces and staying present in the world. When she would much rather hide or destroy it all. Anyone who reads Griffith, knows how talented and beautifully she writes, this book is no exception. My heart absolutely breaks for Aud, and while you can see her getting her life on track as the book progresses, you know there is more to be done. I'm looking forward to reading book 3, and hope Aud gets a happier ending.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ulf Kastner

    I'd read Nicola Griffith's previous book featuring the same protagonist, Aud Torvingen, about seven years ago and couldn't recall much in terms of plot or mood as I began to read this one. That is until a scene of climactic violence by ways of superhuman ferocity courtesy of the protagonist suddenly erupted about halfway into the book. Things began to fall into place and I remembered what I'd liked and what left me feeling ambivalent about The Blue Place. Aud is a noir superheroine and I'm not to I'd read Nicola Griffith's previous book featuring the same protagonist, Aud Torvingen, about seven years ago and couldn't recall much in terms of plot or mood as I began to read this one. That is until a scene of climactic violence by ways of superhuman ferocity courtesy of the protagonist suddenly erupted about halfway into the book. Things began to fall into place and I remembered what I'd liked and what left me feeling ambivalent about The Blue Place. Aud is a noir superheroine and I'm not too keen on superheroes. Fortunately, her ambiguous, conflicting, yes her "noir" qualities serve as sufficient reconciliation to sustain my interest. Even though superheroes bore me I still enjoy characters that take charge in an intuitive, self-assured manner. Aud Torvingen is full of self-defeating flaws and compulsive deficits, but she's probably the protagonist least likely to allow herself to get side-tracked by self-doubt when there are things at stake. And that may be the quality I relished most about both books - at their core there are journeys of a guarantor for impulse, movement and momentum. She is a beast, an avenging angel, a force of nature...she is personified, miraculous, entropy-reversing fate. Nicola Griffith writes unselfconscious lesbian fiction. All her novels (and I believe to have read all of them excluding her most recent Aud Torvingen opus, Always, published earlier this year) feature female queer protagonists. None of them are preoccupied or stifled by worlds that are prejudiced against their sexual orientation (whether that is a result of inexplicably more tolerant worlds or protagonists that are somehow not affected by such prejudice is never entirely clear.) That earns her a predictable share of criticism from folks that would rather read about the struggles, victories and defeats arising from queerness. I, however, am glad that Griffith doesn't heed those calls to change her game to sophisticate-lesbian, fantasy literature equivalents of Chick tracts (and I mean Chick as in Jack Chick, not as in chicks.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    MargaretDH

    I've never read anything by Nicola Griffith I didn't like, and this didn't break the streak. Aud is a noir hero, and after the last book in the series, just keeping her head above grief water. When her friend tracks her down and asks her to find his missing fiancee, she decides to help, taking her across the country and into contact with some terrible people, but also redemption. Griffith makes Aud and her thoughts and actions so immediate. Aud is measured and graceful, and Griffith tells us almos I've never read anything by Nicola Griffith I didn't like, and this didn't break the streak. Aud is a noir hero, and after the last book in the series, just keeping her head above grief water. When her friend tracks her down and asks her to find his missing fiancee, she decides to help, taking her across the country and into contact with some terrible people, but also redemption. Griffith makes Aud and her thoughts and actions so immediate. Aud is measured and graceful, and Griffith tells us almost every time she sips her mineral water, or how her leather gloves smell and feel against her finger tips. Aud is so immediate, and you're so close to the action, that this was easy for me to read in long stretches. I got through it in a day, and the intimacy was comforting and immersive (even through the violence). Plus, even though Aud isn't invincible, she is a BAMF, so if you need to read about (an earned) win, this is very satisfying. Griffith does a good job of balancing the violence and the intellectual, and the pacing is just right. Don't pick this one up without reading The Blue Place, but if you like modern noir, these are excellent.

  4. 4 out of 5

    James

    I am empathetic towards Aud in "Slow River" (Aud Torvingen #4) and "Always" (Aud Torvingen #3), less so with Aud in "Stay" (Aud Torvingen #2). A compelling and ending. Wow! I am empathetic towards Aud in "Slow River" (Aud Torvingen #4) and "Always" (Aud Torvingen #3), less so with Aud in "Stay" (Aud Torvingen #2). A compelling and ending. Wow!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    ...The climax of the first book was absolutely heartbreaking. In this novel you are left with the feeling Aud has managed to crawl out of the hole she found herself in. There is trouble brewing on the horizon of course but she has made great strides towards finding her balance again. Griffith does amazing things with this character, who in the hands of a lesser writer could easily have turned into a clichéd badass former police officer. Stay is a worthy sequel to The Blue Place. I'm looking forw ...The climax of the first book was absolutely heartbreaking. In this novel you are left with the feeling Aud has managed to crawl out of the hole she found herself in. There is trouble brewing on the horizon of course but she has made great strides towards finding her balance again. Griffith does amazing things with this character, who in the hands of a lesser writer could easily have turned into a clichéd badass former police officer. Stay is a worthy sequel to The Blue Place. I'm looking forward to reading the third book. It will be interesting to see if Aud can hang on to her new found humanity. Ful Random Comments review>

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sam (Hissing Potatoes)

    4.5 stars. I read the majority of this book in one sitting, because any time I put it down to eat or something, I felt inexorably pulled, like a magnet, to dive back in. I love how the author took the pronunciation of Aud's name to a whole new level and made it a legit, meaningful recurring theme rather than just inserting a one-time "this is how you pronounce it" example. The character growth throughout the book, not just with Aud but with the people around her, is extraordinary. The motif of Aud 4.5 stars. I read the majority of this book in one sitting, because any time I put it down to eat or something, I felt inexorably pulled, like a magnet, to dive back in. I love how the author took the pronunciation of Aud's name to a whole new level and made it a legit, meaningful recurring theme rather than just inserting a one-time "this is how you pronounce it" example. The character growth throughout the book, not just with Aud but with the people around her, is extraordinary. The motif of Aud growing from larva into imago is beautifully, painfully, laboriously executed as she works through her grief, breaks out of her protective armor, and comes to an understanding with the world and people around her. Griffith is in a league of her own. Also, her descriptions of nature are so exquisite I have the strongest desire to run off into a forest and never be seen again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maddy

    PROTAGONIST: Aud Torvingen SETTING: North Carolina SERIES: #2 of 3 RATING: 4.25 WHY: After the death of her lover, Julia, for which she was partially responsible, Aud Torvingen retreats into an isolated life in the mountains of North Carolina, where she is building a cabin. Although she’d like to, she can’t refuse when her oldest friend, Dornan, asks her to find his fiancée, Tammy. Aud finds that Tammy has gone to New York and is in a truly abominable situation. She removes Tammy from the threat, bu PROTAGONIST: Aud Torvingen SETTING: North Carolina SERIES: #2 of 3 RATING: 4.25 WHY: After the death of her lover, Julia, for which she was partially responsible, Aud Torvingen retreats into an isolated life in the mountains of North Carolina, where she is building a cabin. Although she’d like to, she can’t refuse when her oldest friend, Dornan, asks her to find his fiancée, Tammy. Aud finds that Tammy has gone to New York and is in a truly abominable situation. She removes Tammy from the threat, but only at great cost to herself when she suffers an incident involving white hot rage. There are links to an immigration scam involving children, which Aud tries to set right. Beautifully written, almost poetic. I had a real problem with Aud talking with her former lover. At times Julia appears on the scene as if she is still alive; I couldn’t buy it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Mishap

    With gritty writing that binds you to the sounds, smells, and sights of each scene's surrounding, Griffith has her character struggling not only with grief, but how to stay a real person after being smacked down the first time she tried (see the previous book). Less a mystery than a revenge tale combined with a story of re-connection, I really liked it. With gritty writing that binds you to the sounds, smells, and sights of each scene's surrounding, Griffith has her character struggling not only with grief, but how to stay a real person after being smacked down the first time she tried (see the previous book). Less a mystery than a revenge tale combined with a story of re-connection, I really liked it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rahnuma Khan

    Arrgghhh I didn't read the first part first... Arrgghhh I didn't read the first part first...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Althea Ann

    Griffith has written a couple of excellent sci-fi novels ('Ammonite' and 'Slow River'). 'Stay is more of a thriller/crime novel, but since I had liked her other books so much, I decided to pick it up. What I didn't realize is that it is also a sequel (to 'The Blue Place'). It does work as a stand-alone, but I wish I had read 'The Blue Place' first. In 'Stay' we meet Aud Torvingen - a Scandinavian ex-policewoman & private detective, who is in the middle of reclusively renovating an Appalachian cabi Griffith has written a couple of excellent sci-fi novels ('Ammonite' and 'Slow River'). 'Stay is more of a thriller/crime novel, but since I had liked her other books so much, I decided to pick it up. What I didn't realize is that it is also a sequel (to 'The Blue Place'). It does work as a stand-alone, but I wish I had read 'The Blue Place' first. In 'Stay' we meet Aud Torvingen - a Scandinavian ex-policewoman & private detective, who is in the middle of reclusively renovating an Appalachian cabin, and dealing with the emotional trauma and guilt of the death of her lover, a woman who had hired her to protect her from assassins. However, an old friend shows up at the cabin, saying that his on-again off-again girlfriend has disappeared, and he suspects she may be in serious trouble - can Aud help find her? Even though Aud had never liked this woman, she feels obligated to help - and soon is off to New York City to try to find out where she went... uncovering a web of violence, psychological torture and exploitation in the process. Quite a good thriller - a bit of a slow start, but the writing and characterization really transcend genre fiction. (Although Aud's detecting skills and ninja-type abilities stretch believability just a tiny bit.) The atmosphere of the novel reminded me just a little of 'Smilla's Sense of Snow,' which is one of my favorite books in this genre.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Mensing

    I really loved this second in the Aud (rhymes with crowd) Torvingen series. I'd already read the first and third, somehow missing this one. Griffith does an amazing job of making her characters, and especially Aud, real people. So much so, in fact, that any description of them (her) here sounds cliche. Aud is a martial arts expert, tuned into both nature and spirituality, lesbian, essentially fearless ... the combination of which makes her sound like a cartoon character. However, in this series, I really loved this second in the Aud (rhymes with crowd) Torvingen series. I'd already read the first and third, somehow missing this one. Griffith does an amazing job of making her characters, and especially Aud, real people. So much so, in fact, that any description of them (her) here sounds cliche. Aud is a martial arts expert, tuned into both nature and spirituality, lesbian, essentially fearless ... the combination of which makes her sound like a cartoon character. However, in this series, she is decidedly not cartoonish. This book has her recovering/recuperating from the last book (The Blue Place) at the cabin she is building in the Smoky Mountains, and traveling to both NYC and Arkansas to rescue a friend's wife and an immigrant child. This sounds like a formula thriller, but again, it is so much more in Griffith's hand. The sad news is that this series' last book is the 2007 "Always," which I've already read. Griffith needs to write another book in this series!!!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kennedy

    WOW! Aud the backbone of the story is quite the woman. Her change in personality from the blue place is quite interesting to watch unfold. "We won't always know whose lives we touched and made better for having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What's important is that you do care and you act" C. Lunsford. Look forward to reading the next book in the series. WOW! Aud the backbone of the story is quite the woman. Her change in personality from the blue place is quite interesting to watch unfold. "We won't always know whose lives we touched and made better for having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What's important is that you do care and you act" C. Lunsford. Look forward to reading the next book in the series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Baxter Trautman

    Excellent sequel, in which Aud's heart, alluded too in The Blue Place, shines through. Crafty Nicola Griffith set Aud up beautifully in this taut, richly written mystery. Excellent sequel, in which Aud's heart, alluded too in The Blue Place, shines through. Crafty Nicola Griffith set Aud up beautifully in this taut, richly written mystery.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    Not really a mystery.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    ok really like the aud torvingen series.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kerry & naomi

    I became aware of Nicola Griffith when I read her first book, Ammonite, a feminist separatist dystopia. I moved on to Slow River, her second book also in the science-fiction genre. I expected The Blue Place and its sequel, Stay to follow suit, but Griffith has moved them into mainstream fiction. I have not yet read The Blue Place, mainly because I could not find it as readily as the more recent Stay and the Nebula-award winning Slow River, but I believe Griffith does an excellent job of letting I became aware of Nicola Griffith when I read her first book, Ammonite, a feminist separatist dystopia. I moved on to Slow River, her second book also in the science-fiction genre. I expected The Blue Place and its sequel, Stay to follow suit, but Griffith has moved them into mainstream fiction. I have not yet read The Blue Place, mainly because I could not find it as readily as the more recent Stay and the Nebula-award winning Slow River, but I believe Griffith does an excellent job of letting the new reader know what happened in The Blue Place so as not to detract from the story. The Plot Aud (rhymes with loud) Torvingen has retreated to the cabin her father left her in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina to grieve after the death of her lover, Julia. Aud spends her days rebuilding the cabin and wandering in the woods, having cut herself off from her friends, family, and civilization in general. Her friend, Dornan, drives up from Atlanta and begs Aud to find his erstwhile fiancée Tammy, who seems to have run off to New York City initially on business, but has not made contact for two months. Dornan fears the worst and wants Aud to find her and bring her back if Tammy is still alive. Aud, a former cop, reluctantly agrees to take the case. Aud locates Tammy fairly easily in New York City where she has fallen prey to an abusive, controlling man named Geordie Karp. Aud rescues Tammy and takes her back to North Carolina to do some healing of her own, but then returns to New York City to retrieve a particularly incriminating video tape and the files on a child from Mexico that Karp had bought and was having raised by a foster family in Arkansas as his “perfect wife,” i.e., submissive and obedient. Aud runs into Karp and things begin to unwind. Or maybe repeated sightings of Julia are pushing Aud too far into madness. Elements of Style From what Griffith relates through Aud in Stay, Griffith seems to be developing her main character: in the previous book, Aud enters “the blue place” when she faces an adversary and time begins to slow down although she retains a startling clarity of thought and sense; in the sequel, Aud enters “the blue place” only once, and her manner of fighting to survive, fighting to kill, is undergoing a transition into something else, though exactly what remains rather ambiguous at this point (which is also why I hope Griffith plans a third book detailing the adventures of Aud Torvingen; another reason are Aud’s steps toward understanding her relationship to her mother). One of the things I like best about Griffith’s writing in general is her forthright approach to lesbian relationships and sex. Griffith is a lesbian herself which lends a feeling of authenticity to the erotic scenes in her writing. Although I believe authors should not be limited to writing about their own scope of experience, sexual or otherwise, I find heterosexual authors writing gay and lesbian sex scenes fairly transparent, as easy to spot as men with female pseudonyms writing romance novels. Griffith’s unapologetic and unexplanatory approach to writing lesbian characters is very refreshing. She’s also not afraid to take ownership of words that other writers shy away from like vulva (heh-heh-heh, let’s see if that gets through the censor). Griffith’s writing is very physical. The reader learns the play of muscles in the characters’ arms, the feel of slight shifts in weight, the pain from a broken rib. Her characters are very much inside their bodies and glory in their physical capabilities, though I must note that this does not signify a paucity of intellectual capabilities on the part of the characters or the author calling the tune. I do have a single (minor) nitpick: if Aud drives from Little Rock, Arkansas back to North Carolina, with a stop in Memphis, what is she doing in Mississippi? I-40 goes straight from Little Rock to Memphis without touching another state. The route doesn’t make sense; if she was driving from the southern part of Arkansas through Mississippi back toward North Carolina, why swing up through Memphis? And going from Little Rock in the center of the state, there’s no reason to go through Mississippi at all. On the bright side, this is the only remotely sloppy detail I encountered.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie

    Stay is a book about a woman undone by grief who must slowly come back to the world. There are more than a few left turns further into darkness before the book is through. Griffith doesn’t really write straightforward plots (I’m okay with that) but she does display her top strength: she knows how to create and carry a mood. And because of it, this ends up being a deeply realistic portrayal of the swerving and never-quite-finished process of grief, with just enough of a mystery/thriller story to Stay is a book about a woman undone by grief who must slowly come back to the world. There are more than a few left turns further into darkness before the book is through. Griffith doesn’t really write straightforward plots (I’m okay with that) but she does display her top strength: she knows how to create and carry a mood. And because of it, this ends up being a deeply realistic portrayal of the swerving and never-quite-finished process of grief, with just enough of a mystery/thriller story to distract. **spoilers for the first book, The Blue Place, follow** At the start of this book, Aud has retreated to a half-finished cabin in the mountains outside Asheville, NC to deal with the death of her lover, Julia. Her friend Dornan comes to check up on her and also ask her a favor: track down his missing fiancée, Tammy. Aud reluctantly agrees, and in the process sets in motion a cascade of events that will forever change her life. In case you were worried, this book isn’t all the way a character study. Aud still gets to use her detective skills in tracking Tammy and others. But these do tend to play a lesser role in service to Aud’s interactions with the people she meets along the way. One of the surprises was how much time we got to spend with Tammy. She wasn’t my favorite (or Aud’s) in the first book and it’s to Griffith’s credit that she’s deepened here, to the point that Tammy and Aud can challenge each other and force some kind of growth. As far as plot, there was an “oh shit” moment in this book just the same as the first; the difference is in this one it’s roughly halfway through rather than at the end. It changes the course of the narrative, and rather than be worried about others, it makes the reader worried for *Aud*. I don’t want to give too much away but the question is if Aud can “stay in the world” as Julia requested, which of course means being connected to people, and not reverting to violence or isolation, her vices. Aud finds her way to a satisfying and in-character response to this; even the end is equivocal. But that makes it perfect. I really enjoyed Griffith’s exploration of Aud’s journey, and I’m glad there’s another book that follows to see where Aud continues to go. Small nitpicky note though: why didn’t any grammar editors catch that “swang” is not a real word??

  18. 4 out of 5

    Paul Magnussen

    OK, I was wrong. This is the sequel to The Blue Place, and on finishing that, I was not expecting its successor to be particular good. In fact, in my opinion anyway, it’s a lot better. The stylistic excesses that characterised the previous work are here more subdued, allowing the author’s skills to evince themselves much more clearly. Among these are the abilities to produce an absolutely spine-chilling portrayal of grief; and to produce a villain who is utterly repulsive but still convincing. Th OK, I was wrong. This is the sequel to The Blue Place, and on finishing that, I was not expecting its successor to be particular good. In fact, in my opinion anyway, it’s a lot better. The stylistic excesses that characterised the previous work are here more subdued, allowing the author’s skills to evince themselves much more clearly. Among these are the abilities to produce an absolutely spine-chilling portrayal of grief; and to produce a villain who is utterly repulsive but still convincing. This last-named is a task that even as good a writer as Peter O’Donnell found — as the Modesty Blaise books progressed — increasingly hard, and finally impossible. It seems I guessed wrong, too, about the author’s influences (see her introduction to The Blue Place on its Amazon listing); although perhaps I may say that what led me to the Travis McGee books was someone’s describing them to me (I remember the event clearly) as “just as violent as Mickey Spillane, but more intelligent”. To make your protagonist a homicidal lesbian lunatic*, and further, to write the story in the first person, is something not many authors would attempt; even fewer could bring it off. I’m now glad I read both these books. I await the next one with interest. You definitely do need to read the first one first. *If visual and auditory hallucinations are any indicators.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marie

    Didn't know this was a sequel until putting it in GoodReads and I'll say it reads fine on its own. It started with a character talking to a ghost and I expected a speculative story ... but it's not a speculative story. The main character, Aud, grieves the death of her lover, Julia, and at first I thought it was a mundane tragedy, one of those lit novels about everyday people dealing with normal life. Then, slowly, it comes out that Aud is something of an international woman of mystery, has killed Didn't know this was a sequel until putting it in GoodReads and I'll say it reads fine on its own. It started with a character talking to a ghost and I expected a speculative story ... but it's not a speculative story. The main character, Aud, grieves the death of her lover, Julia, and at first I thought it was a mundane tragedy, one of those lit novels about everyday people dealing with normal life. Then, slowly, it comes out that Aud is something of an international woman of mystery, has killed men, and that her lover's death was tied in with a 'job' of some sort. OH it's a spy/mystery novel. She's contacted to investigate the disappearance of her friend's fiancee. It'll lead to a conspiracy and clues and.. no. Aud competently tracks down the missing fiancee and ... I'm going to start getting spoilery. Long story short, it challenges your expectations. Doesn't let you sink into any comforting genre, and confronts you with human foibles and consequences. I quite loved it. For all that there is violence and spycraft, it manages to be a quiet sort of book, a woman on her own, figuring her way through her grief, her way back into a world of caring about other people.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Arinn Dembo

    Just a quick word about this novel, which I sat down to read this year. It's an amazing novel, exquisitely written. And although I've been reading for nearly as long as I've been alive, I can't recall EVER reading a better work of fiction about the immensity and the sheer persistence of real grief. What I like best about this novel is that the protagonist is given the depth that is usually reserved for straight men, in most of the fiction written on planet Earth. Aud thinks, sees and feels with g Just a quick word about this novel, which I sat down to read this year. It's an amazing novel, exquisitely written. And although I've been reading for nearly as long as I've been alive, I can't recall EVER reading a better work of fiction about the immensity and the sheer persistence of real grief. What I like best about this novel is that the protagonist is given the depth that is usually reserved for straight men, in most of the fiction written on planet Earth. Aud thinks, sees and feels with great intensity and profound passion, and she fumbles with her inadequacies and tries to user her power to make the world a better place--just as I would expect any male protagonist in a noir or crime novel to do. I'm really glad I read this. It's a fantastic book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Wes

    I liked this book so much more than the first Aud book, The Blue Place. I love the way Griffith writes Aud interacting with her grief, I love the way Aud interacts with her sexuality, and I love the way Aud interacts with her own flaws. She's an amazing character. Still, she doesn't interact with any of the world as it might have been presented to her: she doesn't see any homophobia or, really, any misogyny. As such, it's a great book for those who want a little bit of escapism, but might be a s I liked this book so much more than the first Aud book, The Blue Place. I love the way Griffith writes Aud interacting with her grief, I love the way Aud interacts with her sexuality, and I love the way Aud interacts with her own flaws. She's an amazing character. Still, she doesn't interact with any of the world as it might have been presented to her: she doesn't see any homophobia or, really, any misogyny. As such, it's a great book for those who want a little bit of escapism, but might be a struggle for those who are looking for a little bit of realism.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    I had no idea this was book 2 when I read it. It's not really Nordic noir, given there's no mystery or really anything that comes to mind when I think of Arnuldur Indridason or even Stieg Larsson. Now that I know it's a book 2, it really reads as a bridge- taking Aud from book 1 to wherever she goes in book 3. I don't think I'll be looking for either, however. Aud isn't that interesting a character- obnoxiously rich and bordering on sociopathic because... her mother was never around? I had no idea this was book 2 when I read it. It's not really Nordic noir, given there's no mystery or really anything that comes to mind when I think of Arnuldur Indridason or even Stieg Larsson. Now that I know it's a book 2, it really reads as a bridge- taking Aud from book 1 to wherever she goes in book 3. I don't think I'll be looking for either, however. Aud isn't that interesting a character- obnoxiously rich and bordering on sociopathic because... her mother was never around?

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dru

    Oh, whoops, this is a sequel. Still. I love everything Nicola Griffith writes apparently.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    “Cope. A small word for a terrible task.”

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kendra

    An outstanding and beautifully written novel of grief and violence and beauty and healing and love.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Doolah

    This trilogy made me start doing martial arts.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    3.5ish stars, as its predecessor. I’m not overly engrossed in this series, or the direction it’s gone in, but Nicola Griffith is a very fine writer.

  28. 5 out of 5

    JGNB

    A good story that will lead you to think of a female James Bond. Well written and keeps you interested.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wildlx

    Stay continues the story of Aud Torvingen, the complex character introduced by Nicola Griffith in The Blue Place. In profound grief over the death of her lover, Aud has been living a reclusive life, rebuilding a cabin in the forests of North Carolina. Her friend Dornan visits with a request to find her missing fiancé and Aud, reluctantly, agrees to the task. After all she has to keep her promise to her dead lover and stay in the world. She finds the missing Tammy in a loft in New York, where she Stay continues the story of Aud Torvingen, the complex character introduced by Nicola Griffith in The Blue Place. In profound grief over the death of her lover, Aud has been living a reclusive life, rebuilding a cabin in the forests of North Carolina. Her friend Dornan visits with a request to find her missing fiancé and Aud, reluctantly, agrees to the task. After all she has to keep her promise to her dead lover and stay in the world. She finds the missing Tammy in a loft in New York, where she has been living with Geordie Karp, a psychopath who has destroyed Tammy’s psyche and turned her into a sexual slave. Aud also finds that Karp has a new prospective victim, a 9 year-old Mexican girl who has been sold to him and has to decide whether to do something about it. Griffith divides the novel in three parts, Larva, pupa and imago, indicating its main theme, the changes induced by grief: Grief changes everything. It's a brutal metamorphosis. A caterpillar at least gets the time to spin a cocoon before its internal organs dissolve and its skin sloughs off. I had no warning […]. Aud, who has had control over her feelings most of her life, has been stripped of her emotional armor, first by her love for Julia and then by the grief over Julia’s death and feels lost - I don't know what I know anymore. She is able to analyse herself as she says in one of her internal dialogues with Julia: You wrapped yourself in armor and pretended to be invulnerable. Returning to her old self could be an option but her reaction to Karp shows how violently she now refuses the old Aud. So, in order to “stay”, she has to change and learn to deal with feeling – You're grieving because you can feel. thus becoming someone different. Like The Blue Place this is character-driven book and Aud’s emotional journey is the real story. Nicola Griffith’s lyrical and precise prose is able to make a compelling portrait of grief and change and make us connect with Aud’s emotional turmoil. Stay is a novel not to be missed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gordon

    It's a wonderful book. As with all writers, once Griffith gets in a groove, she loses some of the luster that betokened her first book. Aud remains a fascinating character. This book is one of the best descriptions of grief and its effects that I've ever read. Those who have read The Blue Place will understand why as this book follows the loss of Julia. The strength of the book is the way in which it sees the world through Aud's eyes. As such the world is broad, filled with different senses, and It's a wonderful book. As with all writers, once Griffith gets in a groove, she loses some of the luster that betokened her first book. Aud remains a fascinating character. This book is one of the best descriptions of grief and its effects that I've ever read. Those who have read The Blue Place will understand why as this book follows the loss of Julia. The strength of the book is the way in which it sees the world through Aud's eyes. As such the world is broad, filled with different senses, and severely limited in its emotional pallet as she works through the death of her beloved. In many ways, Aud seems much younger than her thirty-plus years. Her love has the power of adolescence without the control of adulthood. Those who have read The Blue Place understand that Aud is trapped in this talented teenage world by her relationship with her mother that has left her stunted and rigidly controlled. Those who have read the wonderful Hild, recognize another very careful person, one who sees every situation as dangerous including those that require love. Dornan, her friend, who makes Stay happen with his ill-advised love of Tammy, the person whom Aud will search for in this book, but Dornan reminds her that friends do things for each other and are there for each other. Aud discovers love and friendship in this book. We have the good fortune to be with her while she does so. This "mystery" is a powerful addition to the genre.

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