August 26, 2013

The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy

My first experience with Binchy, The Lilac Bus, didn't really thrill me.  So it was with trepidation that I started this book.  But it completely redeemed Binchy for me; I really enjoyed it.

Kit has a strange family dynamic.  Her father the pharmacist is content to sleep in a different room from her mother.  And her mother, well she's a wild spirit that wanders around the lake at odd times.  Until one day she wanders and doesn't come back, and a boat shows up capsized.    But Kit's mother has another secret.  One that just grows harder to keep with age and could have the whole small town reeling if it was ever found out.  And it is amidst this that Kit has to grow up and find her own place in the world, despite everyone's expectations of her.

I actually found Kit to be a secondary character to her mother Lena.  She just wasn't written as strongly.  She's likable though and definitely has strong thoughts on everything and seemingly knows what she wants.  Which is admirable.  She doesn't ever back down.  Lena is actually a little weaker in that regard.  She is able to be pushed around by the men in her life despite being strong in all other aspects.  But she's kind and even if I initially didn't like her, you have to admire her resilience.  There's a whole cast of secondary characters too and they each have their own stories.  I do feel that some of them were unresolved but they added a little something to the story whenever they were introduced.

This was a long ongoing story.  At times it was even tedious and slow moving.  But it was interesting for the most part and I like how Binchy showed that even life in a small town can be complicated.  And all of it felt real, like something that could happen in real life.  She had you cursing at the characters for some things and loving them for others.  And there wasn't too much jargon or anything to make it hard for people not familiar with the culture to understand what was going on.  Maybe a mention of "chips" now and then, but that seemed to be it.  Overall, it was well written and just felt authentic.

I won't write off Binchy now after this book.  It was a definite improvement over the other that I had read and I hope the rest turn out to be just as good.

The Glass Lake
Copyright 1995
757 pages

No comments:

Post a Comment