An incandescent novel of love, obsession, and the secrets that take root in the human heart, by the author of The Copper Beech and Circle Of Friends. Lough Glass is at the heart and soul of the namesake town clinging to its shore. They say that if you go out on St. Agnes' Eve and look into the lake at sunset you can see your future. But beneath its serene surface, the lake harbors secrets as dark and unfathomable as the beautiful woman who night after night walks beside its waters. Lough Glass is home to Kit McMahon, in a way it will never be to her lovely mother, Helen, who does not fit in with the ways of the people of Lough Glass, and who found an unlikely mate in the genial pharmacist Martin McMahon. Kit adores her mother, but can't escape the picture of her, alone at the kitchen table, tears streaming down her face... or walking alone by the glass lake. Then one terrible night Martin's boat is found drifting upside down in the lake. The night Helen is lost. The night Kit discovers a letter on Martin's pillow and burns it, unopened, in the grate. The night everything changes forever.
From the Hardcover edition.
Irish novelist Binchy's latest saga of family loyalties and secrets spent 12 weeks on PW's bestseller list.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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1 . My Favourite Book of All Time
Posted December 26, 2010 by SMD , BrandonThis was the first Maeve Binchy book I ever read. I loved it so much that I wore out my paperback from re-reading it over and over again. She is an amazing writer. She has the ability to telll a story in a way that you could actually visualize every character as the story unfolds. She captivates you from the beginning to the end.
May 27, 2007
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Excerpt from The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy
Kit always thought that the Pope had been at her mother and father's wedding. There was this picture of him in their house--a different pope, a dead one--and the writing underneath said that Martin McMahon and Mary Helena Healy had prostrated themselves at his feet. It had never occurred to her to look for him in the wedding picture. Anyway, it was such an awful photograph. All those people in embarrassing coats and hats standing in a line. If she'd thought about it at all Kit might have assumed that the Pope had left before the picture was taken, got on the mail boat in Dun Laoghaire and gone back to Rome.
That's why it was such a shock when Mother Bernard explained that the Pope could never ever leave the Holy See; not even a war would make him leave the Vatican.
"But he went to weddings, didn't he?" Kit said.
"Only if they were in Rome." Mother Bernard knew it all.
"He was at my parents' wedding," Kit insisted.
Mother Bernard looked at the little McMahon girl, a mop of black curly hair and bright blue eyes. A great wall-climber, an organizer of much of the devilment that went on in the schoolyard, but not until now a fantasist.
"I don't think so, Katherine," the nun said, hoping to stop it there.
"But he was." Kit was stung. "They have a framed picture of him on the wall saying that he was there."
"That's the papal blessing, you eejit," said Clio. "Everyone has them . . . they're ten-a-penny."
"I'll thank you not to speak of the Holy Father in those terms, Cliona Kelly." Mother Bernard was most disapproving.
Neither Kit nor Clio listened to the details of the concordat that made the Pope an independent ruler of his own tiny state.
With her face down on the desk and hidden by the upright atlas Kit hissed abuse toward her best friend. "Don't you ever call me an eejit again, or you'll be sorry."
Clio was unrepentant. "Well, you are an eejit. The Pope coming to your parents' wedding, your parents of all people!"
"And why shouldn't he be at their wedding if he were let out?"
"Oh, I don't know."
Kit sensed something was not being said. "What would be wrong with their wedding, for example?"
Clio was avoiding the matter. "Shush, she's looking." She was right.
"What did I just say, Cliona Kelly?"
"You said that the Holy Father's name was Pacelli, Mother. That he was called that before he was called Pius the Twelfth."
Mother Bernard reluctantly agreed that this was what she had been saying.
"How did you know that?" Kit was full of admiration.
"Always listen with half your mind to something else," Clio said.
Clio was very blonde and tall. She was great at games, she was very quick in class. She had lovely long fair hair. Clio was Kit's best friend, and sometimes she hated her.
Clio's younger sister Anna often wanted to walk home with them but this was greatly discouraged.
"Go away, Anna. You're a pain in the bottom," Clio said.
"I'll tell Mam you said "bottom' out loud on the road," Anna said.
"Mam has better things to do than to listen to stupid tall tales. Go away."
"You just want to be fooling around and laughing with Kit . . ." Anna was stung by the harshness of her dismissal. "That's all you do all the time. I heard Mam say . . . I don't know what Clio and Kit are always skitting and laughing about."
That made them laugh even more. Arm in arm they ran off and left Anna, who had the bad luck to be seven and have no friends of her own.
There were so many things they could do on the way home from school.
That was the great thing about living in a place like Lough Glass. A small town on the edge of a big lake. It wasn't the biggest lake in Ireland but it was a very large one by any standards. You couldn't see across to the other side except on a clear day and it was full of little creeks and inlets. Parts of it were clogged up with reeds and rushes. They called it the Glass Lake, which wasn't a real translation. Lough Glass really meant the green lake, of course, all the children knew that. But sometimes it did look like a mirror.
They said that if you went out on Saint Agnes' Eve and looked in the lake at sunset you could see your future. Kit and Clio didn't go in for that kind of thing. The future? The future was tomorrow or the next day, and anyway there were always too many half-cracked girls and fellows, old ones nearly twenty, pushing each other out of the way to try to see. As if they could see anything except reflections of themselves and each other!
Sometimes on the way home from school Clio and Kit would call to McMahon's pharmacy to see Kit's father, with the hope of being offered a barley sugar from the jar. Or they would go to the wooden pier that jutted out into the lake to see the fishermen coming in with their catch. They might go up to the golf course and see if they could find any lost balls which they could sell to golfers.
They rarely went to each other's house. There was a danger attached to going home; it was a danger of being asked to do their homework. In order to keep this option as far away as possible the girls dallied on their way back from school.