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The Mirror

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,514 Ratings  ·  394 Reviews
On the eve of wedding in 1978, Shay Garrett peers into the antique mirror in her family's longtime home, the famous Victorian Gingerbread House on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado, and falls unconscious only to wake in the body of her own grandmother Brandy on the eve of her wedding--in 1900. The virginal Brandy, in turn, awakes in Shay's body to discover herself pregnant ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published November 1st 1997 by Rue Morgue (first published 1978)
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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. Wells11/22/63 by Stephen KingTimeline by Michael Crichton
Best Time Travel Fiction
36th out of 1,174 books — 3,814 voters
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger11/22/63 by Stephen KingOutlander by Diana GabaldonThe Time Machine by H.G. WellsTime and Again by Jack Finney
The Best Time Travel Books of All Time
30th out of 420 books — 1,032 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 04, 2013 John rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is perhaps my favorite book of all time. I discovered it through rather unusual circumstances. While working for an eye doctor in Boulder, Colorado, I met the author who was a patient of ours. When I learned that she was a published author, I started searching used book stores for some of her works and came across a first edition paperback of this book. I finished it in just a few days and was fortunate enough to have the author sign it for me during a follow-up visit to our office. I have ...more
Jul 12, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it
The Mirror by Marlys Millhiser tells the strange but original tale of four generations of woman from 1900 to 1978-79 and how their lives are interwoven and complicated by the machinations of an evil mirror.

Shay Garrett and her grandmother Brandy McCabe are switched, mentally and physically on the eve of their respective wedding day, though the ceremonies are separated by over seven decades. Far from being a comedy spun and packaged by Disney producers (although there are some humorous scenes) t
I want you to think about the next time you see your grandmother how it would be if you would wake up in her body when she was young and then have to marry your own grandfather and give birth to your mother. That's sounds quite insane I know, but that is what happened to Shay Garrett in this book. She wakes up in the year 1900, in her grandmother Brandy McCabe's body.

This book cured me of any romantic notion about time-travel. I don't know what's worse going back in time having to live your gran
Shannon Lanier
Dec 04, 2013 Shannon Lanier rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of my favorite books of all time. Ive read at at least a dozen times over the years. I borrowed it from the lirary one day(long ago :) and was about a dozen pages in when the author had me hooked. I rushed right out and bought the book, knowing nothing about the rest of the book. I hardly EVER do that! The book is definitely different, but unique enough to stand on its own. I finished this book in one day and while I give it 5 stars and stand behind it, I feel as if the ending could ...more
Althea Ann
May 14, 2015 Althea Ann rated it liked it
It's not, quite, but this book has a bit of the feel of one of those 'gothic' romances that were popular in the 1970's.

It's a time-travelling saga of how a cursed mirror twists the lives of the women of one family.

In 1978, Shay Garrett is on the verge of marriage to a wealthy and handsome man. But when she looks into a family-heirloom mirror, she suddenly finds herself in the body of her grandmother - in 1900. To her shock, she's still on the verge of a wedding - now, to a man she's never met.
I read THE MIRROR, a time travel piece of historical fiction, years ago. It was my first introduction into the genre and I loved it. I read it again about ten years later and still appreciated it as much as I did the first time. I recently pulled it off my keeper shelf and decided to see if my opinion had changed now that I am older. It did.

My 1978 copy is missing its dust jacket and some of the pages are aged. If you are lucky, you may find the book at a public library. It also could be stuffe
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This is probably one of the best books to me that I've read. I loved it. Time travel done the best ever. History and love but not overly mushy.
May 14, 2011 Lori rated it liked it
This is a solid 3, which means nothing earth shattering but I read it through with a great deal of enjoyment, and even *gasp* some thought! The writing itself is a far cry from "litrature" but the characters were interesting and likable. And I don't know about you, but I've always been suspicious about mirrors, especially when I was a kid - there's definitely a Twilight Zone mystique about them. Ya know, the whole "into another world" possibility. And scary thoughts, what if I don't see my refle ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I received a copy through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

This reprint (manner of speaking) of a 1978 novel was definitely interesting to read, although I confess not having paid enough attention at first when it came to the original publishing date... and was confused in the beginning. But that's not fault of the book's, only mine.

The story weaves the lives of Shay and Brandy, the first being the latter's granddaughter. A mysterious mirrors switches their minds in time, forcing Sh
Sep 20, 2009 Amy rated it it was amazing
I've had this on my wishlist for years, and my husband was kind enough to give it to me for my birthday. I've spent the past 2 days completely lost in it. I'm surprised it's not more popular, but maybe it was when it was first printed in 1978.

The story is basically about a grandmother and granddaughter who switch places in body and time when they look into a mirror that each of them received on their wedding days in different times. At this point, the story moves chronologically from past to pre
Nov 04, 2009 Roxy rated it liked it
Recommended to Roxy by: Holli
I throughly enjoyed this book. It was not your average time travel or transportation book in my opinion. I enjoyed the way it was broken in to sections to see things from a different characters point of view.

I was, however, throughly disappointed by the end of the book. About half way through the last section it began to read like the author ran out of steam. She could have done so much more in this section and even had the details to do but opted to keep it boring. The last section of the book
Karen Witzler
Apr 16, 2015 Karen Witzler rated it liked it
Remembered and was describing the plot of this odd supernatural thriller from 1978 to my daughter while discussing the new Studio Ghibli movie about Marnie.
Jackie forrestal
Jan 29, 2008 Jackie forrestal rated it it was amazing
This is a book I remember reading when I was a young girl. I loved the book then and just recently wanted to get it for my children to read. It's one you can't put down, I'm not much for fantasy books but this one was a wonderful one. I think everyone needs to read this, I know I'm going to go out and get it tomorrow......
Kerri Huff
Jan 04, 2008 Kerri Huff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, favorite
This is a time-travel romance that I read as a teenager that I re-read every chance I get. The story revolves around the granddaughter switching places with her grandmother on the eve on her wedding...
Dec 11, 2015 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: booksburgh
This was an interesting time travel book, with grandmother and granddaughter switching bodies on the eve of their weddings. Learning about Colorado in the early 1900s was educational. Rather than choosing to go back and forth with Shay and Brandy, most of the book is about Shay in Brandy's body, with a brief interlude with Rachel as the focus.

The flow was further interrupted for me by the way Millhiser felt she had to constantly remind us that it was Shay in Brandy's body or vice versa. It woul
Apr 28, 2010 Dolly rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Dolly by: Holli
Shelves: 2010
A friend of mine recommended this book to me, and I'm glad she did. "The Mirror" was very well written. The author included descriptions of places, people, and times in a facinating way.

The time setting for "The Mirror" went from 1900 through 1978. The author described the differences in society from the eras very well.
The Mirror itself was a frightening mirror with powers that transported a grandmother and granddaughter to reversing their lives. I know that sounds much like the Disney movie "
Apr 17, 2014 Robin rated it it was amazing
OMG! I just finished this book again for the third time. I always remember that Shay and her Grandmother look into a mirror at the same time the night before their wedding days. Shay 1978 Brandy 1900. They switch bodies and live out each other's lives and have little episode where they can see what each is doing at random times, but I ALWAYS forget the wonderful story details. I'm glad I own this book. I would recommend it for everyone. I just love it.
Mary  (Biblophile)
One of my all-time favorite books that I first read as young woman. The story of a young woman who on the eve of her wedding views herself in an old antique mirror and suddenly finds herself in the body of her grandmother. A hard to put down read as it captures your imagination and sometimes boggles your mind. A must read for those who love the unusual.
Will be re-reading this one soon for NetGalley.
I have good memories of it, which is why I requested it for review.
I wonder if my opinion of it will change after 33 years?
I'll let you know...
Sep 28, 2013 Renee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, favorites
I didn't want to put this book down. A beautifully written story spanning generations of a family. All of the characters were so clearly developed and likeable.
Jan 14, 2010 Shari rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. Whoopie-twang! Recommended by both my mother and Alison Thurman. I can't recommend this book enough!
Jul 02, 2010 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 10, 2011 Stacey rated it really liked it
I really loved that there was a more "adult" version of my favorite childhood book called Stranger in the Mirror by Lynn Beach. I quickly read through the first two parts in less than a day and was anxiously waiting to read part III which was the section on Brandy. Unfortunately it just was plain weird to me. I'm not sure if it was because I couldn't relate to 1978 as "the future," or because the whole scenario of Brandy/Shay spending all of that time with the crazy weirdo in a farm house. Like ...more
JoAnne Pulcino
Jan 02, 2014 JoAnne Pulcino rated it it was amazing


Marlys Millhiser

This is one of my all time FAVORITE books that Jeanette reminded me I hadn't reviewed.

In Boulder Colorado, in 1978 a bride steps through an ancient mirror on her wedding day, and ends up in 1900 in her grandmother's body on her wedding day.

A must read, and especially for young adults wanting to read adult fiction.

Feb 26, 2009 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
I've read this book twice now. It's about this teenage girl who accidentally swaps bodies with her grandmother on the eve of her wedding by looking into the mirror simultaneously. She has to live out her grandmothers life and the grandmother has to live out the granddaughter's life. It's a weird book but i couldn't put it down.
Jenn Estepp
A time-slip novel of a 1970s girl on the verge of marriage swapping places with her 1890s grandmother via a spooky old mirror. And then subsequent tales of the two of them living out their respective lives (as in, no switchbacks). It's divided into three parts - the first set in the 1890s, the third in the 1970s and the middle the perspective of the daughter/mother that separates them. And they are pretty uneven in quality, with the first part definitely being the strongest and most compelling. ...more
May 18, 2014 Kim rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book, but had alittle trouble at first keeping the characters straight: its a story of time travel, and jumps back and forth from 1900's to 1978. All in all, I really liked the story, lots of detail from both era's. This excerpt from the back of the book explains more about it, better than I can.

A classic tale of two women lost in time in the tradition of Jack Finney's Time and Again. On the eve of her wedding in 1978, Shay Garrett peers into an antique mirror in her family
Sep 26, 2011 Chris rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, fiction
Tea: Why yes, please!
Overall this is another really great story, totally unappreciated. For me, it's a book I've reread again and again because it is a wonderfully written story.
The story follows two relatives, a grandmother and granddaughter who end up switching places in time. The start of the book is a little odd at first but you end up going with the flow, and soon you're even enjoying the ride. The granddaughter goes to the past to be thrust into a plain time period filled with rough hard m
This is a remarkable book, one that I had never heard of until a few weeks ago. The plot of the story revolves around a mysterious antique mirror and two young women about to be married. A granddaughter and her grandmother, separated by 75 years, both looking into the strange mirror just prior to their weddings, and then the impossible happens; they switch places, slipping into the others bodies. How do they cope, being in another body not familiar to them, living in a time that seems almost ali ...more
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Time Travel: THE MIRROR: General Discussion (*spoilers*) 29 112 Dec 16, 2015 06:17PM  
The Mirror 20 85 Nov 01, 2015 07:28PM  
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Marlys Millhiser is an American author of fifteen mysteries and horror novels. Born in Charles City, Iowa, Millhiser originally worked as a high school teacher. She has served as a regional vice president of the Mystery Writers of America and is best known for her novel The Mirror and for the Charlie Greene Mysteries. Millhiser currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.
More about Marlys Millhiser...

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“The Gingerbread House sat sullenly in the downpour.” 2 likes
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