Glittering Images by Susan Howatch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was a tremendously satisfying book. It started light and Wodehousy, but quickly got deep and complex. There were a few moments of delighted realization as I, the reader, got to know what was going on. The book spoke to the kind of reality I live in, or wish I did.
I think my very favorite part of this book was its treatment of Christianity, Christians and the church. It is rare to find fiction that has a nuanced, compassionate view of any of these. But I found the book to be theologically compelling without being the slightest bit prudish or preachy. There were real Christians, driven by real faith and supported by a church that had some Really Good Ideas. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered that done as well anywhere else.
I am a gulper of books. I can’t help myself most of the time. But this is a sipping book – like a fine glass of wine.
Read if: you enjoy post-war-period English novels, you like a complex narrator, you would enjoy a nuanced view of Christianity, you like good books.
Avoid if: you cannot handle any sex scenes in your literature, you find books about the journey of the mind/spirit/soul boring and want more explosions, you are overly triggered by child loss.