I am glad I had to read this for Uni, there are times when persevering with a book has its rewards! The Stone Diaries was remarkable and Carole Shields deserves a higher posthumous-critical-acclaim for her body of work. I am looking forward to reading more of her writing!
Daisy (the main character) is a 'ordinary woman' who as her life is revealed is actually very special and unique - I think this story/ biography of a twentieth century woman and her family was incredibly moving, incredibly written and deserved the Pulitzer Prize that it received. I especially enjoyed the 'Work' chapter where Carole Shields demonstrates how using letters as a writing tool can be effective and wonderfully written - not clunky and formulaic as it so often can be.
So keep on reading - it's more than worth it!