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The Mysteries of Glass by Sue Gee

About the book

It’s the winter of 1860 when Richard Allen, a young curate, travels to a small hamlet outside Hereford to take up his first position. It’s in this quiet place of wind and trees, birds and water that Richard is to fall passionately in love – but he cannot find fulfilment, for his lover is Susannah Beddoes, the wife of the vicar of his new parish. As Richard’s feelings challenge him to his core, he develops a strange relationship with another woman, the solitary and eccentric Edith Clare. Against the backdrop of immense social and industrial change, the consequences of Richard and Susannah’s affair are dramatic as they – as well as Oliver Beddoes – grapple with doubt and what it means to lose faith when the great certainties are in question. And throughout it all, the crossing-keeper’s daughter Alice Birley – an observer of incidents and events she does not fully understand – has her own part to play…

Reviewed by Everton Reading Group:

Enjoyed as a whole by most of the group. Some areas of plot – ice accident – understated. Led to lots of discussion. Painted very clear picture of the countryside and showed empathy for the ‘times’. Some voted as 4 stars

Star rating: ***

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6 thoughts on “The Mysteries of Glass by Sue Gee”

  1. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI Reading Group:
    Beautifully written with evocative descriptions. Victorian hypocrisy and guilt are sympathetically dealt with. Not everyone enjoyed the plot but all admired the writing.
    Star rating: ***

  2. Review by New Forest/Waterside U3A Reading Group:
    This novel received an uncontested four stars from the group. It is a group leader’s joy with a wealth of source references to the title theme. The heavy, church-based descriptions of the main character’s thoughts and actions initially seem tedious but are so well written they set the scene for what is a very engaging human story. Our discussions ranged from Darwin and dageurroeotype to St Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians. The picture of humanity encompassed in the life of one village is tellingly displayed.
    Star rating: ****

  3. Review by Solent U3A:
    Provoked a lot of discussion. Group divided in opinion of writing. Some felt description of certain parts was too repetitive, others liked this detail. Good escapism back to a life lived in simpler times.
    Star rating:***

  4. Review by Ems Vallet U3A Reading Group
    Opinions sharply divided. All agreed it was beautifully written. Some found it tedious and frustratingly slow moving. Others thought it was a brilliant character study and an accurate portrayal of a tormented young man of the cloth in Victorian England.
    Rating: ***

  5. Review by Stubbington Bookends
    Everyone thought it was a good storyline but some of the group felt it moved too slowly. All agreed it was very evocative of the Victorian age with good characterisation and descriptive writing.
    Star rating ** to ***

  6. Review by Sheet WI
    Very evocative – wonderful sense of time and place. Felt very sorry for some of the characters who were so well drawn.
    **** 4 stars

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