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Publisher's Summary

Like its predecessor, The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox's The Glass of Time is an engrossing period mystery about identity, the nature of secrets, and what happens when past obsessions impose themselves on an unwilling present.

In the autumn of 1876, 19-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood to become a lady's maid to the 26th Baroness Tansor. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncover the secrets that her new mistress has sought to conceal and to set right a past injustice in which Esperanza's own life is bound up.

At Evenwood, she meets Lady Tansor's two dashing sons, Perseus and Randolph, and finds herself enmeshed in a complicated web of seduction, intrigue, deceit, betrayal, and murder.

Few writers are as gifted at evoking the sensibility of the 19th century as Michael Cox, who has made the world of Charles Dickens and Wilkie Collins his own.

©2008 Michael Cox; (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[Listeners] will find themselves deeply engaged by the elegant descriptive prose." (Publishers Weekly)
"Atmospheric and engrossing.... Strongly recommended." (Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Satisfying and Engaging

I was interested in this book primarily because I read and enjoyed the previous book in this series, "The Meaning of Night" and was eager to find out the resolution of the drama played out in that story. Though at first I wasn't crazy about Ms. Bailey's narration - she didn't epitomize the protagonist to me - after just an hour or two I couldn't imagine the story being read by anyone else. She was wonderful, and her renderings of the characters were evocative and compelling.

"The Glass of Time" is gothic Victoriana at its best, and it's got everything that genre demands: deadly family secrets, forbidden romances, murder, lifelong obsession, and conflict that spans generations. Esperanza, the protagonist, is an interesting and complex heroine, and although her motivations grow murky toward the end of the tale, they are no more confusing than those of the average 19-year-old. I was deeply satisfied by the conclusion of the story and very much enjoyed it as an audiobook. Listening to it also prevented me from skipping ahead in order to find out what happened (a very bad habit of mine). Highly recommended!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • austin, TX, United States
  • 01-14-09

A good read

The Glass of Time is a pretty good read. There are no real surprises for a reader who's paying attention, and the tense shifting can be somewhat jarring , but overall it was enjoyable. The author may have overestimated the power, or at least the endurance, of love, and that tends to make the story feel less genuine, but it is still a fun story of intrigue that carries the reader along for the ride. As always, Josephine Bailey is wonderful.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Fabulous read

This is a wonderful story to follow The Meaning of Night. The narration is engaging and the plot, although somewhat predictable, a really well-thoughtout story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Soap opera but well narrated

Having invested many hours listening to the first half of this novel, I persisted and finished it, but am pretty sure that was not worth it. This is a silly, contrived, artificial story that ceases to ring even a little possibly true half way through. Of course, in fiction readers (or listeners) need to "suspend disbelief," but the suspension required in Glass of Time is beyond my willingness or ability.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Mary
  • Canby, OR, USA
  • 11-13-08

austin mystery

This long drawn out tale had good bones. But wading through the wordy 1st person thought process was tiresome. Written in 18/19th century fashion this story is well constructed and true to the time. But not a gripping mystery.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Easy Read

Very interesting story. I wanted to visit Evenwood. The narration was very good. The only part that I didn't like was the revelation about Mrs. Battersby. That was just one chapter in a long book. But, I particularly loved the language and the plot twists. Perseus and Esperenza were my favourite characters, but I also liked Esperenza's mistress, the Baroness. I finished this book very quickly.

  • Overall
  • Jane
  • Franklinville, NC, USA
  • 11-30-09

The Glass of Time

This was my first time reading or listening to Michael Cox. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this and could hardly wait for my next "alone" time so as to continue it. Great narration. I look forward to finding more from this author.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful