The Glass of Time by Michael Cox

If you are a follower of my blog, then you probably know that I have a little obsession with the Victorian Era and with books set in that period. Hence, you may not be surprised to hear that I was eager to read Michael Cox’s The Glass of Time.

Luckily, I received a copy of this great book from John Murray Publishers and after I have spent the last days reading The Glass of Time, I must say that it lived up to my expectations, just as I imagined it. This novel was everything I expected: 531 pages packed with suspense, mysteries, intrigues, betrayal and romance – the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable gothic romance! But now, let’s have a look at the plot:

1876: Nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst has been living in France ever since her parents died years ago. She cannot remember her dear parents and doesn’t know much about them. When they died, they left their young daughter in the care of Madame de l’Orme and Mr. Thornhaugh and she has received a most remarkable education from them. Thus, when her guardians send her to England to occupy a position as a lady’s maid at the gothic house of Evenwood, it soon becomes clear that Esperanza will not take on the role of an ordinary servant. Madame de l’Orme and Mr. Thornhaugh have sent the young girl to Evenwood with a specific purpose in mind. They want Esperanza to fulfil a Great Task, but the heroine doesn’t know yet what this task is about. She has been told to wait for three ‘Letters of Instruction’ that will clarify her role at Evenwood. In the meantime, Esperanza’s assignment will be to win over her new mistress, the former Emily Carteret, now the 26th Baroness Tansor. With her charm and intelligence, the heroine succeeds in accomplishing her task and she wins Lady Tansor’s trust and respect over the course of time. Soon, she is no longer a lady’s maid, but she is Lady Tansor’s companion and friend. As Esperanza receives the first two letters of instruction, she learns that she must not trust Lady Tansor, but rather to consider her as an enemy. However, Esperanza finds it hard to do so, since she pities Lady Tansor, as Esperanza sees that Lady Tansor is plagued by grief and sorrow. Although her mistress is strict and disdainful to others, she is kind to Esperanza and the young girl finds it hard to regard her as her enemy. Nevertheless, the nineteen-year-old has to fulfil the Great Task and follow the letters of instruction that tell her to uncover Lady Tansor’s dark secrets. As Esperanza digs deeper into Lady Tansor’s past, she finds herself entangled in a web full of shocking mysteries, murders, deceptions, jealousy and revenge. She also finally finds out why she has been sent to Evenwood, and when she does, she is shocked to learn that there is a connection between her and Lady Tansor. But what kind of connection? At Evenwood (and everywhere else, it seems), people are not who they pretend to be and Esperanza must pay heed before it’s too late, as dangers are all around her. Whom can she really trust and will she be able to fulfil the Great Task?

Well, if you want to know the answers to these questions, you will have to read this captivating book. I won’t tell you more about it, as I don’t want to spoil this haunting tale. All I can say is that you must read The Glass of Time if you are a fan of gothic romances and if you like to read books that are set in the Victorian Period. I promise you that you will enjoy this well written novel, as it’s a page-turner and a fascinating read that will appeal to everyone who loves a suspenseful mystery with a touch of romance. In this engrossing tale, nothing is quite as it seems and you will witness how the past can haunt one’s present as one cannot always accomplish to leave the past behind so easily!

I really loved The Glass of Time and I am looking forward to reading Michael Cox’s other novel The Meaning of Night in the near future!


14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lua
    Mar 27, 2010 @ 15:47:08

    Thanks to you Andreea, I’m slowly becoming a fan of the Victorian era and taking a special interest in books set in that time as well!
    Another book to go on my ridiculously long to-be-read list 🙂


  2. Kristen M.
    Mar 27, 2010 @ 18:44:01

    Ooh! I wish you had read The Meaning of Night first. It is so incredibly suspenseful but some of that will have been given away in The Glass of Time. I’m sure you will love it anyway though! The Meaning of Night is one of my absolute favorite neo-Victorian novels.


  3. farmlanebooks
    Mar 27, 2010 @ 21:17:33

    I really enjoyed The Meaning of Night, but haven’t read this one yet – I’ll have to remember to keep an eye out for a copy.


  4. Aarti
    Mar 27, 2010 @ 21:47:30

    I skimmed this review, just noting that you really enjoyed the book, because I have this to read and haven’t yet. I really loved its prequel- I was kind of shocked that other people I know didn’t like it. I thought it was great! Glad to know this one is, too 🙂


  5. Nymeth
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 10:44:58

    Oooh – this definitely sounds like my kind of book! As you know, I share your Victorian obsession 😀 I can’t believe I’ve yet to read any Michael Cox.


  6. vivienne
    Mar 28, 2010 @ 19:43:59

    A Victorian obsession – I would never have noticed,LOL. Like Nymeth above, you know I am a bit partial to a Victorian era book and I just happen to have this one too. The trouble is I have too many books and not enough hours to read them in. Aarrgh!


  7. Melody
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 00:20:32

    I love reading the Victorian era too! This book sounds good so I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for the review, Andreea! 🙂


  8. diane
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 00:45:06

    I own The Meaning of Night (still unread), but I wanted to let you know that I loved your review of his other book; thanks

    Have a great Week!


  9. Alice Teh
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 07:37:27

    I’m not a fan of this genre… I’ve certainly heard of the author, though. If I change my mind and decide to read books in this genre, I’ll keep this in mind. Thanks for the review!


  10. Kathleen
    Mar 29, 2010 @ 20:44:50

    Who can resist a good gothic romance? Thanks for a great review.


  11. Darlene
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 00:16:58

    Great review. This one is in my pile somewhere. Your review makes me want to read it now- if only I had the time.


  12. Andreea
    Mar 30, 2010 @ 17:46:23

    Thanks everyone. I hope you will enjoy this book if you have the chance to read it!


  13. Hannah
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 15:03:33

    Thanks for the review. I’ll have to add the book to my TBR list. I bought The Meaning of Night as a birthday gift for my grandmother last year, but haven’t read it myself.


  14. raphaelight
    Feb 28, 2011 @ 07:42:05

    Great blog! Have a look at which has lots of Gothic Romantic book links and more.


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