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Posted October 20, 2011
Not All That Glitters Is Gold
I read this first "Starbridge" entry based on Jacqueline Winspear's praise for it; I love her Maisie Dobbs series. I don't love Susan Howatch's Glittering Images. The structure of the book is promising: a mystery is put forth which reveals a deeper, personal mystery that must be solved in order to bring the first mystery to a final resolution. The protagonist is a widowed Anglican cleric in his thirties; the setting is England in the thirties between the World Wars. One meets a group of somewhat interesting but not very appealing characters, most of whom should be in custodial care of one kind or another. One learns more about Anglican theology, spiritual dilemma, and dysfunction than many will wish to learn, though I must say that the extended metaphor of "glittering images" is a good one and some of the spiritual insights offered are spot-on. The final resolution at the center of this maze may appeal to those who enjoy sticky romance; others may join me in finding it preposterous at best and unhealthy at worst. I won't be reading the subsequent books in the series.
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Posted December 20, 2010
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