Upon arriving at Evenwood as a lady’s maid, young Esperanza Gorst discovers that she is in the center of a plot to topple her mistress.
The Glass of Time is Michael Cox’s follow up to The Meaning of Night, continuing his Wilkie Collins-esque tale of intrigue and revenge with a Bronte-inspired suspense melodrama. I devoured it like a madwoman in an attic.
Raised a lady in France, Miss Gorst is an unlikely choice for a lady’s maid. Her breeding and manners make it clear that her fortunes ought to be much loftier. But her gentility is what appeals most to Lady Tansor, nee Emily Carteret, the woman beloved of Edward Glyver, ill-fated protagonist of The Meaning of Night. Still mourning the love of her life, Lady Tansor presides over Evenwood with a hauteur that repels Esperanza even has her generosity beguiles her. Esperanza knows only that she has been sent to Evenwood to perform a Great Task, but her guardian, Madame De L’Orme will not say more for now.
Readers of The Meaning of Night will quickly guess Esperanza’s true identity, and savvy readers will quickly discern the secret that tortures Lady Tansor. Yet this in no way diminishes the pleasures to be found in The Glass of Time. Cox revels in putting his characters through their emotional paces, savoring every nuance of attraction and offense between the various players. I enjoyed The Glass of Time tremendously and look forward to Cox’s next book.**
**I wrote this before receiving the sad news that Michael Cox passed away at the age of 60. I can’t help but think of the wonderful books that must have died with him. What a loss.