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Glimmerglass    by Marly Youmans order for
by Marly Youmans
Order:  USA  Can
Mercer University Press, 2014 (2014)
* * *   Reviewed by Barbara Lingens

A self-described failed artist finds herself in a village bordering a lake called Glimmerglass. On a whim Cynthia decides to stay there and finds accommodations in a gate house having seven doors. This is the beginning of a magical journey, where she learns about her surroundings and its people with their long-kept secrets, and finds her own way back to life and the ability to paint once again.

Hovering somewhere between myth and reality, Glimmerglass is a marvelous showcase for author Marly Youmans' talent. Filled with sprightly prose, the story unfolds a mystery and is a mystery at the same time. Quirky characters abound. Here is the description of her former husband: 'he was manic mad, a card-carrying member of the Hatter tribe, with a joker and a bottle in his pocket. Their bungalow had reeked of dope and been loud with howls against boss and job. He had danced like the Witch in red-hot slippers, stamping in frenzy, and at last jigged off with another woman.'

The story's setting is perfect for the plot. Its village, Cooper Patent, is said to be the most eccentric village in the U.S.. The gate house leads to a mansion called Sea House, which is huge and has many unused rooms, some of which are set in a hill, the place where a long-lost cousin disappeared. What could be more mysterious?

As we follow Cynthia's adventures, we see that she is able to respond to events not only intellectually but also emotionally and empathetically, and we cannot help but follow her into the mystery and magic that unfolds. Normally this reader is not enthusiastic about fantasy, but Glimmerglass is definitely an exception. Highly recommended.

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