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The Glass Painter's Daughter [Paperback]

Rachel Hore
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)

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Book Description

6 April 2009
In a tiny stained-glass shop hidden in the backstreets of Westminster lies the cracked, sparkling image of an angel. The owners of Minster Glass have also been broken: Fran Morrison's mother died when she was a baby; a painful event never mentioned by her difficult, secretive father Edward. Fran left home to pursue a career in foreign cities, as a classical musician. But now Edward is dangerously ill and it's time to return. Taking her father's place in the shop, she and his craftsman Zac accept a beguiling commission - to restore a shattered glass picture of an exquisite angel belonging to a local church. As they reassemble the dazzling shards of coloured glass, they uncover an extraordinary love story from the Victorian past, sparked by the window's creation. Slowly, Fran begins to see her own reflection in its themes of passion, tragedy and redemption. Fran's journey will lead her on a search for the truth about her mother, through mysteries of past times and the anguish of unrequited love, to reconciliation and renewal.

Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (6 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847391400
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847391407
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing at UEA. She is married to writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons.

Visit Rachel at, or follow her on Twitter @rachelhore

Product Description


'A very enjoyable read!' -- Susan Howorth

'Reflection, refraction and reconciliation are the three resonant themes of this exquisite novel...perfect book to pack for a holiday'
-- Lancashire Evening Post, March 14, 2009

'The present and the Victorian past combine in a compelling, page-turner of a novel' -- Eastern Daily Press, March 21, 2009

'The restoration of a stained glass window featuring an angel proves to be an Earth shattering commission.' -- Daily Mirror, April 10, 2009

'What a delightful and romantic tale...Brilliant. The best yet' -- Barbara Erskine


'A very enjoyable read!'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
170 of 174 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Colour 16 April 2009
This is a lovely novel in which we are given both an involving narrative, full of mystery, and a rewarding romance. The heroine Fran tries to put back together the shattered fragments of the stained glass window with its glorious angel; as she does so she discovers, through a Victorian diary, the intriguing love story that lies behind the window's creation. This is therefore a story of restoration - not just of a stained glass window however, but of a relationship - Fran's difficult one with her father, who is ill. As with Rachel Hore's two earlier books, both of which I've also loved, the narrative switches between the present day and the past, and the interleaved chapters about the pre-Raphaelite artist who designed the window, and his love for the minister's daughter Laura, are beautifully evoked. I finished the Glass Painter's Daughter having very much enjoyed the storyline most of all, but having also had the pleasure of learning about the art and craft of stained glass making. A rich and lovely novel that, like the window, is cleverly and very satisfyingly pieced together.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clever 22 April 2009
By S Smith
I could not put this book down. I loved the way the writer takes a subject and weaves a story around it. Have now purchased her previous books and have started her second which is promising to be equally as captivating. Will also be visiting the stained glass museum which I would not have known existed without reading this book.I bought this writer on an Amazon recommendation after reading Kate Morton however I felt her to be more of a Par with Mark Mills
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
I was drawn to this book because of the storyline - the idea of a present day story revolving around the restoration of a stained glass window, whilst another story goes back to the past to discover the secrets behind the window's past - really appealed to me. Time slip novels can often be fantastic reads, if the suthor is able to make both stories engaging and relevant to eachother. When I first began reading THE GLASS PAINTER'S DAUGHTER, I truly felt that this was going to be such a book. However, as another reviewer has described, I also felt that about two thirds into this book, I found myself growing less and less fond of it.

The main character, Fran, inhabits a world of music and art - she is an accomplished musician, yet because of growing up in her father's world of stained glass, she also has artistic abilities. The two men who come into her life - Ben and Zac - also reflect this dichotomy; Ben is the organist at her local church and she meets him when she joins the choir, and Zac, who is her father's employee, reflects the artistic nature. At first, this adds another dimension to the book but after a while, it becomes just another element which got on my nerves. Unfortunately Hore writes about this triangle in a very cliched way, meaning it is obvious what will eventually happen.
But I think what prevented me from really enjoying this book as amuch as I thought I would is that there are so many strands to Fran's story and the book as a whole, that each strand seemed to have to compete for attention.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 23 April 2009
I found this a thoughtful and compelling read. Rachel Hoare has done her homework well, and the characters became like personal aqaintances.This is her best book yet.Please keep them coming, it is so good to find a different new author who goes beyond the usual.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
By C. Rucroft VINE VOICE
As my review title says, when I first started this book, I thought it was definately a five star read. It was different and interesting. I loved the story behind it all and how it switched from past to present. I also really enjoyed the development of the relationship between Zak and Fran. I was reading it at every given opportunity.

But, as I got further in (about three quarters through) some things began to really annoy me. Firstly, religion. The author felt it necessary to ram this down your throat at every given opportunity (at one point it says something along the lines of, we may be loved in life but ultimately we go into the dark on our own!). I found it a bit much. Also, things happened far to quickly for me to keep up. I quite often had to go back and check! Finally, the ending was (for me) rushed and far, far too perfect.

It was an enjoyable book, but I didn't like the ending. I would recommend it but I think I'd warn people that it's definately not a light read (especially with all the religion). It saddens me to say, it only gets three stars from me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If you like substance - avoid. 14 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had high hopes of this book as the subject matter interested me and the two timelines. Unfortunately a third of the way through I have decided to abandon it as it has descended into a ghastly chick-lit ouevre and I find it boring. I want a book to engage me by good writing and a captivating story ; unfortunately this is not although it started well it then descended into a tedious style; not for me I'm afraid.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accomplished and satisfying 27 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the story of Fran who has to come home from an itinerant musical career when her father suffers a stroke. Fran and her father have unresolved misunderstandings within their relationship as do several of the other characters in this accomplished novel. An intriguing restoration commission leads Fran to research the history of a stained glass angel window together with the history of her own family. A particular delight in this novel is the wealth of detail about stained and painted glass of both the Victorian and other periods. It took me through a sleepless and difficult night and I would certainly recommend it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars pleasant reading
An interesting book and a bit unusual subject but the romance bit was very similar to the last book of hers that I read and a bit too obvious
Published 5 days ago by Sylvia
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I thought this was going to be a wonderful novel, I had previously enjoyed her others. This was difficult to get into, although parts of it were very interesting and I did finish... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Elisabeth Daisy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 28 days ago by Julie Frost
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed this book, always enjoy this author's books
Published 1 month ago by lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read
This is the first of Rachel Hore's books I've read. An interesting story with a good plot that kept me turning the pages right to the end. Read more
Published 1 month ago by J M Tate
4.0 out of 5 stars recommended read
one of those books that flows well, can be put down, but becomes so close I want it to go on for a long long time. Good read and a very original plot.
Published 2 months ago by dido
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely story
Couldn't put this book down - great characterisation and a good story though the happy ending was a bit predictable
Published 3 months ago by Vardy
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Well written well structured and a real I can't put this book down read !! Will read more of Rachel's novels
Published 3 months ago by S
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Slow start but great story. The first Rachel Hore book I purchased I really didn't enjoy at all but this is definitely a fantastic improvement and has encouraged me to add her to... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Heather
4.0 out of 5 stars Holiday read
Wonderful and original story, interesting to learn something new about a lost art whilst loosing yourself in this engaging story
Published 3 months ago by Anne-Marie Upton
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