- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 32 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Random House AudioBooks
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 21 April 2010
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003IKEA3W
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
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The Girl in the Green Glass Mirror Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
I should have liked this novel - I like Victorian art, and always feel romantic relationships based on shared interests are the most convincing. And there are good things to it - beautiful and poetic descriptions of the landscape of Dorset, and of Spain where John previously lived, and some interesting sections told from Richard Dadd's point of view (though I thinks McGregor underplays both his mania - this was a man who stabbed his father to death believing he was the devil, after all - and his eccentricity, which apparently led him to make some very odd explanations for his pictures). But the modern story just didn't work for me. Just as the villainous James Garrett let McGregor's otherwise excellent 'A Way Through the Mountains' down with his pantomime villainy, so did Robert the horrible husband in this book, whose nastiness seemed to have no real cause, and whose decision to leave his wife seemed to be based on the very flimsy excuse that she loved him and he couldn't handle it (which made his later move to get her back nonsense). Helen's illness was clearly meant to mirror Richard Dadd's, but she came across as merely unpleasant and vicious rather than troubled - most bipolar people have periods of normality, and remorse, but she never appeared to. John was lovely, but I felt that the author spent too much time using him as a figure for horrible things to happen to - the incurable angina, besides being a little dubious medically, I think, particularly in a healthy 50-year-old, felt like overegging the pudding, bearing in mind that John had also had serious depression and lost his wife. And Catherine for the most part came over as a bit pathetic, letting Robert push her around too much - and why did she marry him at all when he was clearly so difficult? The ending was decidedly nasty and also slid into melodrama, which let the book down badly. And too much was factually unconvincing: if John hadn't worked for nearly ten years, and in effect retired in his early forties, he would not have had the money to collect all the art he did, to take but one example. Nor was I sure what the significance of Catherine 'being' the girl in the green glass mirror was - was she also related somehow to Dadd? Was he meant to have 'time-travelled' into the future in his visions and seen her and John? It was all a bit confusing and - despite some lovely writing in places and some interesting historical information - unsatisfying and depressing. A pity, as there was potential, but the author never managed to mould her good ideas into a convincing narrative.