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Beyond the Glass (Frost in May #4)

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  160 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Her brief marriage over, Clara retreats to her parental home. Seeing herself forever imprisoned behind a glass wall of guilt and repression, she both longs for and fears the world beyond. The love affair she seeks as an escape cracks her delicate sense of identity and Clara descends into madness.
Hardcover, 285 pages
Published February 1st 2001 by Virago Press (UK) (first published March 1954)
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Ali
Jun 09, 2014 Ali rated it it was amazing
beyondtheglass

Beyond the Glass is the final novel in Antonia White’s series of novels which explore the schooldays, girlhood and early married life of Clara Batchelor, the daughter of a Catholic convert. I have loved these books and had been looking forward for some time to this instalment. It didn’t disappoint. Antonia White’s writing is brave and evocative, and endlessly compelling. The third novel in the quartet; ‘The Sugar House’ concluded with Clara and her young husband Archie agreeing to
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Zen Cho
Dec 18, 2008 Zen Cho rated it liked it
When I read The Lost Traveller I wasn't sure if it was actually a good book, or just a good bad book (i.e. a book I found it very easy to be interested in and enjoy reading). I think this, and The Sugar House (which I read together), are good books, though. Antonia White apparently thought The Sugar House the best of her novels; she might be right, but I found Beyond the Glass more interesting, because it was less depressing, if more tragic.

Hm, should be clearer. The Sugar House is about the mai
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Meg O'ryan
This is not a book one 'enjoys', given that a good part of it is taken up by the central character's descent into madness. But I found it interesting. The descriptions of Bethlem are also interesting, and make me glad that care of the mentally ill has improved beyond recognition since those times - even if it still has far to go.
Julia
Oct 27, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it
Clara Batchelor is a well-brought-up, upper class, Catholic girl from a highly respected family and recently got married to a charming young man of just as high a social stature. There’s only one problem; Archie can’t have children. The newlyweds decide quickly that the only way for either of them to be happy is to get the marriage annulled. Clara’s family doesn’t agree quite as much as she’d hoped but the church will agree to an annulment and that’s all that matters. Clara is then left to move ...more
Roman Clodia
Jun 09, 2016 Roman Clodia rated it it was amazing
The final end of a brilliant quartet of books, and Clara finally finds true love. But the experience of happiness is too much for her fragile sense of self and she descends into madness. This might sound depressing but ultimately this is a hopeful and uplifting book with a real sense of emotional catharsis at the end.

Clara's journey from Catholic girlhood (Frost in May) to tragedy and retreat (The Lost Traveller), from self-defensive burial in stifling safety (The Sugar House) to her final emerg
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Judith
Jun 28, 2013 Judith rated it liked it
I wavered between 2 and 3 stars for this one, as I thought the first part of the book fascinating, about questions of support and challenges that the characters experience from their Roman Catholic faith and the bonds of family. Then it devolved into a treacly love story and then descended (literally) into madness. It felt like thinly-veiled autobiography combined with adolescent romanticism, and I couldn't wait for the last part to be over. I kept hoping for a return to sanity not only for the ...more
Gina
Jul 19, 2016 Gina rated it really liked it
Dark and haunting. a step into madness. Part 4, Chapter 1 was my favorite where she goes to the place of magic, hallucinations, madness and believes she is a horse. Very surreal. The end was haunting and lovely, though expected. This borders on magical realism but is in the tradition of Betty Smith and Barbara Comyns. I am so glad I read this. It competes with the dead white guys in the cannon but does not get the attention.
Anne
Jul 03, 2009 Anne rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
June Schwarz
Aug 23, 2012 June Schwarz rated it it was ok
Unlike the first three volumes in this quartet, The Lost Traveller is a pillowy, self-overwrought read. I found it a major disappointment, especially the first half. It was like White couldn't remember what it was like to be mad and recreated it from children's books and the London Illustrated News.
Danielle Lentz
What a great book- and such a brave thing for Ms. White to have written. Her description of her descent to madness is so real it's frightening- that it could actually happen and be so acutely remembered!
Melissa Hozey
Apr 01, 2016 Melissa Hozey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the last book in the Clara quartet. The middle two books were fine enough, but I thought the first and last books (Frost in May and Beyond the Glass) were amazingly good.
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Antonia White was born as Eirine Botting to parents Cecil and Christine Botting in 1899. She later took her mother's maiden name, White.

In 1921 she was married to the first of her three husbands. The marriage was annulled only 2 years later, and reportedly was never consummated. She immediately fell in love again with a man named Robert, who was an officer in the Scots Guards. They never married,
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