Lough Glass is at the heart and soul of the namesake town clinging to its shore. They say that if you go out on St. Agnes' Eve and look into the lake at sunset you can see your future. But beneath its serene surface, the lake harbors secrets as dark and unfathomable as the beautiful woman who walks beside its waters.
Lough Glass is home to Kit McMahon, in a way it will never be to her ravishing mother, Helen, the Dubliner with film-star looks who found an unlikely mate in genial chemist Martin McMahon. Kit adores her mother, but can't escape the memory of her, seen through a window, alone at the kitchen table, tears streaming down her face. Kit's best friend and enemy, Clio Kelly, with her casual cruelties and unexpected kindnesses, is first to share the gossip about the exotic and elusive Helen - until the terrible night Martin's boat is found drifting upside-down in the lake. The night Helen is lost. The night Kit discovers a letter from her mother on Martin's pillow and burns it, unopened, in the grate. The night everything changes forever.
As Kit and Clio are swept into passionate young adulthood, Kit is haunted by an unspoken guilt - for which only Sister Madeleine, the hermit who lives in the woods, can offer absolution - and by a dream of the life that might have been. In The Glass Lake, Maeve Binchy explores the unspoken language between mothers and daughters in an extraordinary story of a mother's secret, a daughter's courage, and the hidden bond between them that neither deceit nor death can destroy. For beneath the placid waters of Maeve Binchy's bucolic world, chaos rules. But heaven, hell - and hope - take root in the human heart.
©1995 Maeve Binchy; (P)1995 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.
In my opinion, this is Maeve Binchy's best book. It's well written, and actually, it's well read also. The 'bad recording' comes from the fact that the volume goes up and down during playback, and the occasional music comes across as shrill, and it overpowers the narrator from time to time. I assume this is because it was converted from format 1 to format 2. I have heard bits of this on cassette tape, and the sound recording was fine, so it appears to be just this particular format.
But, if you can ignore the poor sound quality, this is a great book for listening.
Also, I have to say that I did notice the sound going up and down on the 'preview' bit that I listened to, but it wasn't so bad during that.
I really enjoy Maeve Binchy's books. This one was no exception. The recording, however, was so BAD that I missed a lot of the story. At times the music was louder than the narrator. Not a good listen at all. I was very disappointed.
Had I noticed this book was in resolution 2, I would not have purchased it. I would not recommend purchasing books in any resolution lower than 3, unless there is absolutely NO choice.
Unfortunately I didn't notice this was an abridged version until the very end of the listen. As I was listening, I kept feeling like the action was truncated, and that it would be so much better if the action and the characterization were more fleshed out. Assume this would be the case in the unabridged version.
The story is a little sensationalistic; not entirely believable - a few Dickensian coincidences in the connections between characters. Perhaps this is Maeve Binchy classic, I'm not sure - this being only my second of her novels. But the plot is definitely compelling - an examination of the difficult relationship choices women face and the long-term consequences of those choices. The characters are well drawn and sympathetic (would be more credible, I'm guessing, in the full version), and the nature of the small community very appealing. The reader is terrific - Irish accent is lovely and authentic.
One minor flaw was the incidental music - which could have been a nice touch, but was often too loud, even drowning out the text where they overlapped for a few seconds, and at times the choice of music seemed trite - too melodramatic, or cutesy, or whatever. Didn't add much, and may have detracted. (But there is not that much of it - not a big deal.)
Maeve Binchy and her characters are timeless, but NOT in this abridged disjoined version!
For those listeners who enjoyed this book, you would love the unabridged version.
Audible should acquire these Maeve Binchy classic titles in their unabridged versions, which do exist. The public libraries have them.
It's disrespectful to this great author that her estate even allows these abridged versions to circulate.
I think the narration was very good, but I did not like it when the music played at the same time as the narration. Otherwise I would've given the performance five stars.
It was like I was one of the characters. I enjoyed every minute of the story being read to me, made the book seem more real.
The mother. I think she thought leaving would be like the old saying says the grass would be greener. But in even though she loved this new man so much. Her past was always on her mind, she carried it like old luggage.
Beautiful, plus am a fan of hers.Need I say more?
The daughter. In trying to save her father's heartache, she just increased exponentially, because she left him with so many unanswered questions, which if he would have read the letter, it still would have hurt but at least he would have known why.
I recommend this book, it's been around for awhile and if you have not read it or now listen to it, you ave missed a great story.
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