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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, lyrical story of restrained love and old-fashioned values.
Sue Gee has created here a love story with true depth of feeling, displaying the sometimes darker side of country life in Victorian England. A melody of prose surrounds her central character, a young curate sent to assist an ailing vicar at a Herefordshire parish in the winter of 1860.

The young Richard Allen, still mourning his father's recent death, displays...
Published on 28 Feb 2008 by S. Barnes

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too slow
I had previously read Sue Gee's 'Reading in Bed' and absolutely loved it. Sorry to say that 'Mysteries' was far too slow for me, and I only got to page 75 before I reluctantly had to abandon it. Surely something has to happen in 75 pages apart from endless descriptions of weather and countryside, two meals and slow discourse? On the plus side the feel of the winter and...
Published on 2 Aug 2010 by Lovejoy


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bewitching, 3 April 2009
By 
A. Bolus (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
There is no other word for it. From the first few pages we are drawn into a world that is exquisitely portrayed. The beauty of the natural surroundings, the inner torment of a young man caught between Church and passion, and the delicacy and lightness of touch with which these things are described bewitch us utterly. By the end of the story, with its dramatic denouement, we are transfixed. To move on to another book after this is hardship indeed, as the very feel, sight and smell of the countryside remains with us, drawing us back. I thought The Hours of the Night was special, but this is in a league of its own. Thank you Sue.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, lyrical writing, 12 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
Sue Gee writes so well and so lyrically that I found myself feeling deeply for her characters. The sense of place is very strong and I loved the way she described the seasons and their changing. A lovely book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, 11 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
I've read better books by sue gee. I felt that in Mysteries of Glass she got bogged down in atmosphere and there wasn't enough action to get my interest. Her characters don't excite much interest.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Magical!, 19 July 2013
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
This is a wonderful, lyrical read, and profoundly moving. If you love Hardy and books which celebrate the pastoral, you will love it too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book to treasure, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
This is an outstanding novel by Welsh author Sue Gee, who has a gift for creating atmosphere and emotionally charged scenes without being sentimental. This is a book about falling in love with the 'wrong' person and the way in which blame and judgement are inappropriate in the face of feelings that overwhelm two people.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Mysteries of Glass, 22 Dec 2012
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I just loved this book. Although set 150 years ago, the complications of unexpected love and attachments are the same then as now. Tender and gentle writing as expected from Sue Gee.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Poetic and Painterly Language, 25 Aug 2011
By 
Kate Hopkins (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
An immaculately researched and beautifully written novel about a Victorian curate who is sent to a small country parish on the Welsh borders, where he falls in love with the vicar's wife. Gee's descriptions of the countryside of the Welsh border country, of the houses of the parishioners (from rich landowners to peasants) and of people's appearances are superb; she creates a true sense of atmosphere, and paints a vivid picture of small-town life in the 1860s. Historically, the novel is superbly researched. There are also some memorable characters: Oliver, the vicar, dying of tuberculosis, Susannah his shy wife, John Maddock the energetic young curate of Presteigne, and the curate-hero Richard's lively sisters. The only difficulty with the novel is that so much time is taken up with the beautiful descriptions that Gee doesn't really allow herself enough space for much of a plot. Very little happens for about half the book, and the second half feels somewhat rushed as a result, particularly the final chapter, where Gee is trying to tie up many loose ends at top speed. Also, I was not entirely convinced by Richard's crisis of faith: such a devout and fundamentally 'good' young man would have probably been more tormented about his feelings for Susannah from the first, and found his experiences of doubt in God very frightening - Richard appears to remain reasonably calm and collected. But 'The Mysteries of Glass' is still very much worth reading, if for nothing else than for Gee's beautiful use of language.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story, 15 Aug 2008
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
This is a charming book, the characters come to life from the page and the love story is gentle and incredibly romantic. I would recommend it thoroughly.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mawkish & Inaccurate, 11 Dec 2013
By 
Judith Joseph "genealogist/researcher" (Birmingham England UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
Having read Reading in Bed, was recommended The Mysteries of Glass. Started off well-enough but caused eyebrows to raise and tut-tuts to be heard. Historically, the accurate facts were dilapidation of many a church and the poverty of churchmen; the fact that Darwin's theories were considered heresy by many a churchman. After that, think: The Railway Children, Bronte, Hardy, and early Mills & Boon with modern chick-lit. Perhaps those with an interest in botany might be pleased to read of the plants which were extant in the rural area described in the mid-19C. Implausible situations, formulaic characterisations. On the plus side, the only murderer was "outed", and, the sheer hard grind of daily life for the poor was highlighted. Not a patch on her modern novel Reading in Bed.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars plodding, predictable and unremarkable, 25 Nov 2009
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This review is from: The Mysteries of Glass (Paperback)
I have to put a stop to the five-star frenzy here - this book is really not very good. I ALWAYS read right to the end of anything (and I have read some very poor stuff) but I could only manage that here by skipping huge chunks. Since the story went round in predictable circles, that didn't seem to matter! The plot is clumpy and derivative; there are no surprises. The writing is wooden and self-indulgent. There are even factual/detailed period innaccuracies, which jar. I found the whole thing dull and lifeless, too strained - rather like a 6th former writing what they thought would be a 'literary' novel. A very sub-Victorian Victorian novel!
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The Mysteries of Glass
The Mysteries of Glass by Sue Gee (Paperback - 2 May 2005)
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