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The Glass Lake

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  16,930 Ratings  ·  688 Reviews
Night after night the beautiful woman walked beside the serene waters of Lough Glass. Until the day she disappeared, leaving only a boat drifting upside down on the unfathomable lake that gave the town its name. Ravishing Helen McMahon, the Dubliner with film-star looks and unfulfilled dreams, never belonged in Lough Glass, not the way her genial pharmacist-husband Martin ...more
Paperback, 757 pages
Published March 1st 1996 by Bantam Books (first published 1994)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Limonessa
Aug 08, 2011 Limonessa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women who love too much
Recommended to Limonessa by: Flannery and Maja
Shelves: adult-fiction
2.5/3 stars


Well, this should at least serve as an admonition to all women on how a MAN should never ever be the fulcrum around which a woman's life rotates, making him the centre of her universe.

The story - my first Maeve Binchy book ever - is set in the 50s and revolves around the lives of various families in the small village of Lough Glass, Ireland, during a span of about 10 years. Among this rather extensive set of characters, stars Helen McMahon alias Lena Gray, a desperate woman whose a
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The glass Lake, Maeve Binchy
عنوان: دریاچه شیشه ای؛ نویسنده: مائیو بنچی؛ مترجم: قدسی گلریز؛ تهران، نشر روزگار، 1377؛ در 3 جلد؛ در 1268 ص؛ شابک دوره: 9646675255؛ چاپ چهارم 1379؛ چاپ دیگر (ششم) سه جلد در یک مجلد؛ تهران، روزگار، 1381؛ در 984 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان ایرلندی - مادران و دختران - قرن 20 م
مترجم: محمد دانیالی؛ تهران، سمیر، 1391، در 568 ص، شابک: 9789642201891؛
Amy Hillis
May 17, 2009 Amy Hillis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love me some Maeve Binchy. When I read her books, I want to be Irish, own a pub, and live in a tiny town. I can hardly read one of her books without developing a fierce hankering for corned beef and cabbage.

In typical Binchy style - we're immediately drawn into the life of a simple family in a largely nondescript - yet still engaging - town. In this book, a mother struggles continuing life in her family and she makes a choice that changes her husband, children, and self forever. A simple choi
...more
Alexandra Ray
Oct 11, 2012 Alexandra Ray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Alexandra by: Sabby
I... have no clue how to start writing this review. This is the story of lives, lives affected by secrets and lies and choices made by a handful of people. We watch as the consequences of those choices shape the lives of so many people over a span of about ten years. Naturally for a story that has to span that amount of time, it took some time also to get into it. It took at least 100 pages (which isn't much considering how long it is) and a couple hundred more before I absolutely could not put ...more
Suzanne
Apr 02, 2016 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this many years ago, I will endeavour to read it again this year. This was a haunting tale of a woman deeply unhappy and a poor husband left to pick up the pieces for the rest of his family. One of the first Maeve's books I read.

I really do enjoy re-reading these books as it brings back memories from my teenage years and it's nice to rekindle the memories of my first 'grown up' books I tackled. I love revisiting them for this reason, but mostly as I simply adore this author's work!
Rebecca McNutt
Apr 29, 2016 Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
At first I wasn't sure about this book. It seemed a little too trivial, but I stand corrected, because The Glass Lake has a lot more to it than meets the eye. Eerie, sometimes humorous, often gripping, this book is definitely a memorable one. :)
Tina
Mar 25, 2012 Tina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is one of my all-time favourite books - I think partly because of how it got me through what could have been an awful travel day. I picked it up as bulk paperback at the Ottawa airport just before Christmas in, I think, 1995. I had never heard of Maeve Binchy, but it was a fat novel and I was pretty sure it was going to be a long day, as I was flying back to visit my family in northern BC, and it was one of those awful Canadian winters. My plane ended up having to detour through Toronto, th ...more
Abbylockhart
Nov 04, 2012 Abbylockhart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i have read this book more than once,it is probably my favourite.everytime i read it, i feel like i am living in this village, i'm going to school with the kids, i search for helen in the lake. and then i somehow transfer to the big city, and i live next door to lina and lewis. i go to work with them, i write letters to kit, i organize this dance-event. the characters are very "alive", vivid,very colourful, not plain, not shallow. a bit self-centered or obnoxious, maybe...I feel lina as a differ ...more
Claire
Dec 21, 2009 Claire rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. It was so engrossing and enthralling and all those over adjectives that start with e. The main character was so relatable, and I especially enjoyed her tumultuous friendship with Clio - it was so realistic.
But really, I just love how Binchy writes. The way she skips from scene to scene keeps you interested.
And, SUCH satisfying ending.
All in all, a book I will revisit time and time again, despite its 700+ page count :)
Marilyn
May 30, 2015 Marilyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maeve Binchy is a wonderful story teller. This is along complicated family tale. Her characters are so real that you can reach out and touch them. I recommend Maeve Binchy to whomever wants to be lost in a book.
Diana
Jan 29, 2015 Diana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The two stars in not an indication that Ms. Binchy was a bad writer...that just is not the case. Ms. Binchy could develop characters better than any writer of contemporary romance fiction & the way she introduced a ton of characters to the reader, and keep them all straight is pure alchemy. No, I just plain did not care for any of the characters in this entire 700 page novel. I especially detested the weak & pathetic main female protagonist. The story line just seemed to plod along & ...more
Ariel
Apr 08, 2008 Ariel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
WOW! ok so I really liked the beginning of this book. it was haunting & mysterious. and then i HATED one of the main characters. and i couldn't get over what an idiot she was. but i finished it. and it was only ok. and i don't recommend it to anyone! the only thing i liked about this book is that this horrible woman leaves her husband & family to be with another man... and it all falls apart with man #2. basically she gets what she deserves and regrets being an idiot. that was a TINY bit ...more
Laura
Sep 22, 2014 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book in the early 2000s and haven't been able to stop reading it. I read it in full at least once a year but routinely just go back to read specific chapters all the time. I find I've gotten different things out of the book each time I read it. This title will remain on my shelf for years to come.
Amanda
Kit McMahon is a young girl living in the small village of Lough Glass, where everyone knows each other. She is believed to live a charmed life - has a doting mother and father, a brother she gets on well with, many friends (including the shallow but vivacious Clio Kelly). One night Kit's mother Helen goes out walking and never comes back - after months of searching, a body is found and Kit mourns the mother she has lost. At the same time we start following the story of Lena Gray in London, an u ...more
Angela
Jul 07, 2009 Angela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book at the very start. You follow two young girls, Kit (Mary Katherine) and Clio, while learning about their town of Lough Glass. The whole story is more about Kit and her family. Her father, Martin, is the town pharmacist. Her mother, Helen, was in love with another man when she met Martin and married. Her younger brother, Emmett, has a stutter that means he gets teased a lot by the other children.

The pivotal point in the book comes when Kit, and others in town, realize Helen is m
...more
Nicole Richardson
Mar 18, 2016 Nicole Richardson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really grabbed me and held me. There are several characters you love, hate, then love again (or hate.) I loved the era and the setting. I will be reading more by this author.
Carissa
Apr 28, 2008 Carissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
listened to this one on audio–21 discs! holy longness. read by barbara caruso who is a masterful narrator, i was able to stick with this story until the end, but at about disc 9 i was wondering what the heck else the story was going to be about and… it kept going! by the end, i cared deeply for the main characters and was sad to see the story end. a story of serious miscommunications with dire, life-changing results. i liked it less than scarlet feather, but i think that was because s.f. had foo ...more
Shannon
Jul 11, 2009 Shannon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book had some parts that semmed to drag on & was a bit predictable, which is why I only gave it 4 stars. Once I got passed the slow beginning, it pulled me in & I didn't want to put it down. In my own personal prejudices, I never thought I could feel for a mother who abandons her children. But this book allowed me to not only feel for her character but to love her & abandon my judgements against her (& others who I've known to make these kinds of choices). It's a great book ...more
Maryam
Sep 23, 2016 Maryam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this in a second hand bookshop and i was so happy to find another of maeve binchy books. I loved Evening Class so i thought here is going to be another awesome read.
But i was really dissapointed. Sure the story was nice but it was too long and very slow paced, i mean it was about 700 pages. The story revolves around a family in Ireland in a place called Lough Glass.The characters in the family are :
Kit shes a young girl somewhere around 14 years i think i cant really remember. Shes the m
...more
Marihan
Jul 21, 2016 Marihan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
Okay, so this book is really quite nicely written and very enjoyable to read. Until the main events start happening. SPOILER Helen McMahon runs away with an old lover and that just completely ruins the story for me. I absolutely loved reading about the small town and the little kids and the beautiful natural environment and it was all completely ruined by an adult love affair. This book is for desperate middle-aged women who want to read something about the romance they lack in their lives and i ...more
Don
Apr 12, 2016 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been thinking a lot lately about how the choices an author makes have a dramatic impact on the reading experience. I was deeply moved and profoundly changed by "When Breath Becomes Air," but in the hands of a lesser author, it would have been little more than an interesting glimpse into one man's experience with death. It was because of the author's skillful use of language and the wise choices of his editors that the book managed to touch me the way it did.

The same is true of this wonderf
...more
R.L.
Aug 26, 2015 R.L. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Η Maeve Binchy ήταν μία πολύ ταλαντούχα και αγαπητή συγγραφέας και δημοσιογράφος και όταν έζησα για ένα διάστημα στην Ιρλανδία την δεκαετία του 2000, είχα διαβάσει αρκετά απο τα βιβλία της στα Αγγλικά. Δεν ήξερα καν οτι τα βιβλία της έχουν κυκλοφορήσει στην Ελλάδα και βλέποντας το συγκεκριμένο σε ένα ράφι προσφορών, δεν δίστασα στιγμή να το αγοράσω.

Αν δεν έχετε ξαναδιαβάσει την συγκεκριμένη συγγραφέα, ίσως δεν πρέπει να ξεκινήσετε απο το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο. Συγκριτικά με άλλα δικά της είναι μάλ
...more
Suyeon Lee
May 24, 2015 Suyeon Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read many other amazing works of Binchy but (for me) by far, nothing quite seemed to catch up to the brilliance of 'The Glass Lake'. The plot is very very well stuructred and the main characters and the village 'Lough Glass' is portrayed so vividly that whenever I read this book it feels as if I'm also a part of the story.
But if there's one flaw in this novel is that the ending is not clear. Although I've read this book quite a few times, every time I pick it up to read it again, although
...more
MerryMeerkat

Star Rating Art: 4 Stars
Star Rating Story: 3.5 Stars

Netgalley Review

First Impression: Am liking the art. Intreaguing SP? comes to mind.

Plot/Storyline: Very confusing, not sure if I will want to read other volumes. I cant get a good handle on what the heck is going on. Some background would be nice and a little more explanation could really help .Interesting concept to have Death portrayed in white (though he does ride a black horse). I didnt finish it because honestly, I was just confused most o
...more
Kim
Sep 29, 2013 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anna recommends highly. Anna was right, I was so drawn into the characters of this small town in Ireland and the main character Kit was someone I would like to know. I like how she wrote of the main story line but kept you following the other character's lives as well. This would have been a good bookclub read. There were so many parallels between people and chiices that were taken that it does make you think of hereditary traits. I don't want to give the story away but it was a great read.
Meredith Morgan
Feb 05, 2015 Meredith Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Set in Ireland by a lake, a Maeve Binchy story of gossip and secrets. A sad story of a mother (Helen) married with two children to the local pharmacist. One day the mother disappears, presumed drowned as they find a body in the lake, and a funeral is held. But in fact she has run away with her lover before she got married,they run to London and start a life there. She had left a note explaining, but the daughter saw it and assumed it was a suicide note, so she destroyed the letter without readin ...more
Jenn
Dec 29, 2008 Jenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: slice-of-life
I enjoy Maeve Binchy's books and I really liked this one except for the ending. As long as the book was, and as detailed it was, I was disappointed in the hasty ending. Otherwise the story was engaging because you were wondering if the fact that Lena was alive would be revealed to the rest of her family and how they would deal with it.

If you've read Tara Road, Quentin's, or Scarlet Feather and enjoyed the stories, you will enjoy this one as well.
Janet
Dec 04, 2013 Janet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great story of a family torn apart when the mother disappears and everyone thinks she drowned in Glass Lake. I liked the characters even the mother who gives up her family for the one man she thinks she loves only to find out what a mistake she made and what she really gave up. The story doesn't just focus on the characters but a lot on the difficult choices we have to make in life.
Alison C
(Note: Slight spoiler ahead!) In Maeve Binchy's The Glass Lake, we are introduced to Cleo and Kit, two young girls growing up in the small Irish village of Lough Glass, a place where everybody knows everyone but not necessarily everyone's secrets. When Kit's mother, always a bit of an enigma and an outsider in the small town, disappears, the whole town is convinced that she has committed suicide, and when a body is found by the lake some weeks later, it is presumed to be hers. However, Kit, in a ...more
April
Mar 24, 2008 April rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was excellent. Maeve Binchy has the ability to bring the characters to life. The endings are never expected and they are very real. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves to just curl up and get comfortable with a great book. My only warning is that you may not be able to put it down!
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The Glass Lake 1 43 Dec 06, 2008 05:04PM  
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Maeve Binchy was born on 28 May 1940 in Dalkey, County Dublin, Ireland, the eldest child of four. Her parents were very positive and provided her with a happy childhood. Although she described herself as an overweight child, her parents' attitude gave her the confidence to accept herself for who she was.

She studied at University College Dublin and was a teacher for a while. She also loved travelin
...more
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“It was so silly to try to define things by words. What did one person mean by infatuation or obsession and another mean by love. The whole thing couldn't be tidied away with neat little labels." - Lena Gray” 13 likes
“But an intelligent man like you would know that to live in an unrealistic hope is a very foolish way to spend a life." - Lena Gray” 6 likes
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