14 August 2011

Book Review: The Pilgrim Glass

The Pilgrim Glass by Julie K. Rose
ISBN:  9780557810741

The Pilgrim GlassA piece of 12-th century stained glass is found in the crypt of a medieval cathedral in France. Jonas, a high-skilled and troubled stained glass artist, is hired to restore it. Once he arrives in Vezelay, he meets several locals, including ex-pat Meredith, whom he falls for. She, however, begins to have strange experiences related to this piece of glass. Jonas, Meredith, and others must piece together the mystery surrounding this glass and Meredith's experiences.

This is a finely written and researched novel. The author has a gift for capturing small details, such as how Jonas works on the glass, which add immensely to the novel. The scenes in France are richly detailed, leaving the reader with a clear impression of the French village, for example. The historical references are accurate and unobtrusive. The characters are interesting, mainly because they are all flawed with common problems. For example, Jonas had a troubling childhood which he is trying desperately to escape. The plot builds to an interesting and, to me, unexpected climax. While there is some channeling of a 12th-century pilgrim, which could have easily been over the top, it is done in a subtle and suitable manner which seems natural for this story.

My main complaint is that occasionally the story moved too fast and I had to re-read small sections (one or two sentences) to be sure I understood what exactly was happening. Another minor complaint is that I would have liked a bit more narrative. Not only would it have helped with clarifying the situation in spots, but I greatly enjoyed the author's attention to details and wanted more!

Overall, I was very happy to have read this and will gladly recommend it to others. More importantly, I will be looking for the next novel by Julie K. Rose!  )

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