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THE GLASS GUARDIAN Kindle Edition
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So The Glass Guardian isn't your routine ghost story, for a start it is more about relationships, acceptance, love, personal growth and family. It is hard to go into too much detail without spoiling the story and I never do spoiler reviews. Ruth is in a world of hurt, she has lost much and isn't too sure of herself, her life and what she needs to recover. Coming back to the beautiful house that held so much happiness and security for her is bittersweet as it is yet another loss that brings her to it. She finds her world shook up a little more with her old childhood friend(s) and her now relationship with them. Tom is eager to help, pushy and at least one scene with them may make for uncomfortable reading, an element of sex but it is brief.
The book takes a look at family history, grief and how it affects us all differently. The characters are carved out beautifully, one we can love, one we can identify with, one we distrust and question their motives. Ultimately, even with a ghost we have a very human story, looking at love in its many forms, music and recovery. Gillard has a way of sweeping the reader into a world of characters you can easily envision and get quickly invested in their lives. I bought up most of her books after reading House of Silence but as I enjoyed it so much I kept them for a rainy day. After reading this I need to bump them up
Forgetting that for a moment, the actual story of Janet and her music would have made a good tale in itself. The plot itself was good and am sure Ms Gillard could have written it as a straight forward mystery. Ruth was so mixed up she didn't know whether she was coming or going. The number of times she kept changing her mind as to whether to return to London was unbelievable especially bearing in mind there was deep snow outside. The ending was just too 'chocolate boxy' for me. I do like happy endings but this was rather slushy.
Looking at the negative comments I've just written perhaps someone is thinking why have I given it three stars. Well it is due to the fact that the actual story was interesting and I wanted to see what eventually happened. I just wish the author had approached it in a different way.
This book is a change from her others, but in actual fact, all her books offer something different. Where nothing changes is that the writing is still as accomplished, empathetic and beautiful as always. There is usually a flawed heroine, and in this book it's Ruth Travers. Ruth has suffered multiple bereavements in a year, culminating in the death of her beloved aunt, Janet. Ruth travels from London to the stunning Isle of Skye to Janet's home, and Ruth's childhood haunt, Tigh na Linne.
I'm so pleased that Linda has returned to Skye (having written a book partly set there before - Star Gazing). It provides a dramatic backdrop to this story, particularly when the snow sets in.
It's difficult to say more about the story without giving anything away, but this is a ghost story and one with a difference. I have to say that ghost stories aren't particularly attractive to me as I don't always find suspending belief that easy, but The Glass Guardian is sympathetically written and the quality of the writing means that things I may have found far-fetched in another book were not beyond the realms of possibility in this one.
What also usually appears in this author's books are at least one, often more, attractive male characters, and this book is no exception, with at least two for the reader to fall in love with.
I find Linda Gillard's books so easy to read. They flow really well, and I feel totally a part of the story, yet they never compromise on emotional content. Another triumph (reading a new one always makes me want to go back and read the others) and highly recommended.
In a lot of ways 'The Glass Guardian' reminds me of another favourite book of mines, 'The Sound of Waves' by Yukio Mishima because of the beautiful love story.
'The Glass Guardian' is definitely my favourite book by Linda Gillard, a story of lost loves, missing chances, facing the inevitable and looking forward to the future.
A story to share.
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