A Map of Glassby Jane Urquhart
"An aging Andrew Woodman stumbles through a snowstorm, slowly losing his strength, his language, and his memories of the once-familiar landscape around him. When Jerome, a young artist on a remote island retreat, discovers the old man's body frozen in the ice later that winter, the rich narrative tapestry of A Map of Glass begins." "One year after Andrew's body is… See more details below
"An aging Andrew Woodman stumbles through a snowstorm, slowly losing his strength, his language, and his memories of the once-familiar landscape around him. When Jerome, a young artist on a remote island retreat, discovers the old man's body frozen in the ice later that winter, the rich narrative tapestry of A Map of Glass begins." "One year after Andrew's body is found, Sylvia Bradley decides to learn more about her former lover's mysterious disappearance. A withdrawn, sheltered woman whose secret affair with Andrew opened her eyes to the world outside her hometown, she flees to the unfamiliar city of Toronto in search of Jerome. Together, Sylvia and Jerome uncover both the secrets of their own pasts, and the story of Andrew's ancestors." At the center of the novel, we meet Andrew's great-great-grandfather, Joseph Woodman, a nineteenth-century timber baron and shipbuilder whose ambitions bring him to the northern shores of Lake Ontario; his independent daughter, Annabelle; and his son, Branwell, an innkeeper and painter who ultimately begins the family's new generation.
—Globe and Mail
“Urquhart transforms the energy of the world into enduring literature.”
“She is clearly a courageous stylist, with a unique vision.”
— Timothy Findley
“[Her] language is vivid enough to take your breath away.”
— Boston Globe
"The most compelling depiction of the sense of place in human lives."
— Alice Munro
"Hypnotic... [an] elegant and meditative novel about love, relationships, and the meaning of home."
— People magazine
"Tender, romantic and surprising.... An epic of love and loss with an intrigung twist."
— Sunday Times
"Urquhart has a great gift for the historical novel, for the melding of ideas, events and individuals into a significant whole.... Highly compelling and illuminating...."
— Claire Messud, Globe and Mail
- MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
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Read an Excerpt
A Map of Glass
By Jane Urquhart
Random HouseJane Urquhart
All right reserved.
In a small town thirty miles down the lakeshore, a woman woke early. There was no sound coming from the street below. Darkness was still pressed against her bedroom windows.
Her husband was sleeping and did not stir as she slid from the bed, crossed the room, and walked down the hall to the bathroom where she had laid out her clothes the night before: the dark wool suit and grey silk shirt, the string of small pearls, the black tights, white underwear, and conventional cream-coloured slip, the sombre costume that she believed would ensure that no one would look at her, or look at her for very long. She took no special precautions as she washed and dressed, running the taps and opening the drawers as she would have on any other morning. Malcolm had been out on a night call and had not returned until 3 a.m. He would be sleeping deeply and would not waken for at least two more hours. By then she would be on the train, part of the journey completed.
She stood for some time in front of the open medicine cabinet in the bathroom, gazing at the plastic containers that held her various pills. Then she closed the door and stared at her own face in the mirror. Her fair hair, some of it grey now, was pulled back, and her face, she was relieved to see, was composed, her grey eyes were clear. She could not say whether it was an attractive face that looked back at her. Someone had once told her she was lovely and not, in some ways, that long ago, but she knew that her features, her expression had altered since.
The previous morning, after Malcolm had left for the clinic, she had filled an old suitcase with stockings, one blue skirt and cardigan, underwear, a few cosmetics, two well-used green leather notebooks, a plastic bag containing squares of felt, scraps of fabric and wool, one antique album, and a worn hardcover book. Then she had lifted the bag from the bed where she had packed it and had placed it in the unused cupboard of the spare room. The interior of the case was pink and had elasticized compartments under the satin-lined lid where, at one time or another, some long-dead woman must have kept hairbrushes and clothes brushes, and perhaps a bottle filled with liquid detergent for washing silk stockings. That woman may very well have been her own mother, but she couldn't be certain because as far as she knew her mother had never been a traveller. The people who lived in this rural County stayed home. Year after year, generation after generation. The geography of the County discouraged travel; trains no longer visited any of the pleasant towns of the peninsula where she had lived her entire life. She would have to drive for almost an hour to reach Belleville, the larger mainland town where she would catch the train that would take her to the city. The word city had hissed in her mind all week long, first as an idea, then as a possibility, and, finally, now as a certain destination.
Excerpted from A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This book left me starving for more. What I loved about it so much was how 2 people from two different generations could have such similar background in art and the interest they pursued in the Canadian landscape. I also liked the link that was made between Sylvia's map making for Julia and Annabelle's facination with the old maps she found made by her father. I wish there was a sequel about the Ghost and Branwell bringing up Andrew's father in the Canadian country side. I cannot wait to here this on CD.