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River of Glass

River of Glass

by Deborah Bergman

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This cryptic first novel by the author of the nonfiction Inner Voyage skimps on plot details and abounds with abstract impressions of glass, light, color, movement, stillness, wetness. Tess Jordan, a glassblower living temporarily in a Spanish coastal town, becomes entangled with Argentineans who, like her, are running from their pasts and hiding from the world. Recalling the secrets of her youth in suburban New York, she draws parallels between these and her present refuge in Spain in an effort to understand and reconstruct her life. Bergman likens Tess to a smashed pane of glass whose shiversstet she must glue back together. Indeed, the novel itself resembles a shattered stained-glass window; its fragments are aesthetically intriguing, but too many pieces are missing for the picture to be pieced together. That the reader's confusion aptly reflects the heroine's does not compensate for the ensuing frustration, exacerbated by the absence of answers to such crucial questions as what finally motivates Tess to rejoin the real world or why she chose to abandon it in the first place. (Apr.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In her first novel, Bergman presents a coming-of-age story somewhat reminiscent of Margaret Atwood's Surfacing . Tess, a young American glassworker, shares studio space in a small Spanish town that is home to a group of Argentinian refugees and their enigmatic leader, Janier. Tess and Janier begin a reserved attachment, with both hiding more than they are willing to reveal. Tess's artistic interest in the shadows that are cast by works of glass rather than the light that filters through them becomes a metaphor for the secrets of their lives. The novel gets off to a slow start, but when Tess begins to confront her past and to learn something of Janier's, the reader is rewarded for persevering. Recommended for libraries with all but the smallest of fiction collections.-- Debbie Tucker, Cincinnati Technical Coll., Ohio

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

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