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The Glass Guardian
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VINE VOICEon 3 June 2012
Following the death of her beloved aunt, Ruth returns to 'Tigh na Linne', the house on Skye where she spent her childhood summers. Having already lost her partner and father that year, Ruth is there to grieve, and to decide what to do with her life next. She's reunited with a childhood friend, and confronted with memories. She may also be confronted by a ghost...

Paranormal romance is not a genre I've read much of, so I wasn't sure what to expect. How do you have a relationship with a ghost, and how do you manage to resolve the issue, and make a satisfying ending? Thankfully, Linda has managed to answer all of these questions, and make a love story which works.

Linda usually manages to offer a rather adorable hero, and in The Glass Guardian, she brings two potentials - one is Tom, who's rather complex, and not quite what you expect, and then the aforementioned ghost. Ruth herself is also worth a mention, dealing with grief, and a lot of changes in her life. She somehow manages to be both fragile and strong at the same time.

Once again this is where the strength of Linda's book lies, in the people. She paints characters who are realistic and flawed, and completely believable. You can have a strong storyline, but it doesn't quite work as well if you don't find yourself caring about the characters. Ruth became important to me, and I wanted things to work out for her.

With the stunning setting of a snowy Skye, The Glass Guardian brings music, grief, hope, love, and a ghost - what else could you need?!
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on 19 October 2017
Ruth Travers cannot escape death and loss in a short period of time. Her job, her partner, both parents are deceased and now her beloved aunt has passed. With her death comes the beautiful but in need of work Tigh na Linne located in the Isle of Skye. Ruth finds herself trying to sort her own life and through that of her aunt whilst back in a place she loved as a child. With a childhood friend who is now a rugged and handsome handy man, childhood memories flooding back and Ruth finds she isn't alone in the big house. Things are being moved around, the temperature drops suddenly and Ruth comes face to face with a ghostly presence that links to her childhood and the house.

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
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on 19 July 2016
The few negative reviews say it all 'The Glass guardian' is a daft story but funnily enough it didn't annoy me too much, at least at the start, and that is probably because it wasn't trying to be clever and the beginning was at least bearable. But then it did grow irritating and especially because of Ruth, the main character. Others noticed how she constantly changes her mind about things and it does get tedious. What's more the dialogue, which had never been brilliant, truth be told, but was at least average took a turn for the worst and became totally silly. It's not that there is a ghost in the story or that Ruth and Hector fall in love that makes the story daft. If you think of 'The Ghost and Mrs Muir', a film I love, those two elements are the backbone of the story and in the film they work fine. I'm sure that in this novel it could have worked as well if Ruth and the ghost hadn't been related and if they hadn't had sex. What on earth possessed the writer to go for that option? It makes everything totally ludicrous and on top of that Hector being her great uncle, and a great uncle isn't far removed from a grandfather, it makes it incestuous. Very strange choices, which apparently don't seem to bother many readers. That surprised me very much as well! I'm afraid that as far as I'm concerned, whichever way you look at it, it is an ill-executed and trite piece of work that nonetheless managed to find many extremely lenient readers.
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on 13 June 2012
I'm a big fan of Linda Gillard and have read all her books and I was just a little worried that this was not going to be a book for me because of its supernatural theme, a genre I don't normally read. Well, Linda proved me wrong that a good book can be written on that theme! The characters were again so well developed and 3-dimensional. On starting the book, I thought it was all going to be too far fetched and unbelievable, but not so. As I read, I came to care about the characters and completely suspended my disbelief in the story (keeping an open mind is very much part of the book). I even had a little sniffle towards the end - not something that happens often when I read - but there were some very beautiful scenes that had me blinking very hard!
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on 12 July 2014
I kept trying to read this book, going onto another and finally have finished it. Like several other reviewers I found having sex with a ghost just unbelievable and not really relevant to the story. Was Ruth so desperate she had to bed the ghost? Get real!

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.
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on 14 September 2012
With temps of up to 40C this summer I have enjoyed the excuse of the weather to spend time reading during the heat of the day. I have read some great novels this summer and with The Glass Guardian, once again Linda Gillard had me engrossed in her writing. In fact this time her writing, which I have always enjoyed finding all her previous novels to be five star reads, actually exceeded my expectations as I was unsure about the paranormal aspect. I need not have worried this is another five star read, an unconventional romance maybe but it still had me captivated.
An imaginative storyline but surrounded by reality with similarities to Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, although I enjoyed The Glass Guardian more. It was possibly an unusual choice to read on a hot summer afternoon but on the other hand how cooling it was to be transported to the wintry scenes of Skye and the fantastic cover really worked well for me, making Tigh-na-Linne the house where the story unfolds come to life in my imagination. The paranormal genre is a new departure for the author although if you have read her earlier novels you will know it is a subject she has touched on before with characters that play ghost like roles. However her characters are portrayed they are always very believable and realistic with women that are normal as the heroines and some gorgeous sounding heroes, the ones in The Glass Guardian are no exception. Once again she has written an enthralling story about friendship, family, love and music recurring themes in her novels.

To say too much about the storyline here would be entirely wrong as the reader needs to discover how everything connects for themselves in this very sensitive and emotional love story.

The Author's Website Synopsis is just enough to tempt you to read without spoilers, so I am précising it here, with just a few added comments of my own. The protagonist of the story Ruth Travers has lost a lover, both parents and her job. When death strikes again she finds herself the owner of a beautiful but dilapidated home on the Isle of Skye, where she used to spend her summer holidays as a child. Ruth prepares to put the house on the market, but discovers that she is not the only one to consider in this sale, plus she begins to think she might be going mad as she suspects that she might be falling in love. Ruth's research into her family history and in particular the musical career of her aunt are what in my opinion tie this novel's narrative together.

Once again Linda Gillard has surprised me with her talent for making each new novel different from the previous one, if you have not yet read any of her books I urge you to do so. In my opinion it is better although not necessary to read them in the order of publication as I feel by doing this I have appreciated her development as an author. I am already eagerly awaiting what ever novel she has planned for us next even if it is a paranormal one!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 June 2012
I don't really know how to write this review because I want to make sure I don't give away any of the story, so I am going to keep it very simple and just say buy the book and then snuggle down in a chair with a lovely cup of hot chocolate and enjoy being transported to the wonderful Island of Skye. Normally I would not have bought a book of this genre, but having read Linda's other books I had no doubt I would enjoy it, and I can assure you I wasn't disappointed. From the very first page I was drawn into the magnificent story of a gorgeous house and the secret history of the family that have lived in it, concentrating on one element in particular. I didn't want to stop reading and found it a very hard to put down, I just wanted to read one more chapter until late into the night.

Overall I would say give this book a try, it is a lovely read and you will thoroughly enjoy it. :)
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on 24 October 2017
First of all, be prepared to suspend disbelief for this book, if you don't you won't enjoy it as much as you should.
This is quite simply a beautiful story told in accomplished and immediate prose. All the way through I felt I was working out what would happen next feeling very pleased with myself but I think the author actually intends that, it adds to the satisfaction. It's impossible to give a satisfactory review without spoilers so I will simply say; it's a beautiful story very well told with an ending that manages to be just right without descending into sentiment. If you're wavering just buy it.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 14 June 2012
I'm always pleased and excited when a new Linda Gillard book comes out. She's one of my favourite authors and never disappoints me.

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.
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on 1 March 2015
Goodreads lets you give 4 stars and 'really like' a book but here on Amazon four stars is just a 'like' and I more than like this book - it is a terrific read - so 5 stars from me on here .It is the third book I have read by Linda Gillard and once again her story telling skills are to the fore - this rattles along at a pace and is a real page-turner. I had to stay up to finish it as although aspects of the story can be predicted, Linda is master of the twist and the surprise and keeps you guessing right to the end.

This isn't a ghost story in the strictest sense - the ghost is too real a character and his relationship with Ruth, the narrator, is intense and solid. Characters in Linda's books always behave like real people - making flawed decisions, behaving rashly but 'in the moment'. It is a fantasy, a love story of many layers and vividly portrays the ways in which grief and bereavement affect us. Great stuff.
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