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The Glass of Time (The Meaning of Night, #2)
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The Glass of Time

(The Meaning of Night #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  3,511 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Building on his haunting, superbly written debut, The Meaning of Night, Michael Cox returns to a story of murder, love, and revenge in Victorian England.

In the autumn of 1876, nineteen-year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood in Northamptonshire. There she will serve as the new lady's maid to the former Emily Carteret, now Lady Tansor.
Hardcover, 586 pages
Published October 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton Company (first published September 2008)
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Dana There are some overlapping characters and themes but you can enjoy the followup without having read the first!

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3.99  · 
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 ·  3,511 ratings  ·  403 reviews

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Gripping from the first page, this is a note-perfect pastiche of Victorian gothic fiction, remaining fantastically atmospheric throughout. With the naive young narrator, beautiful country house brimming with secrets, and unwelcoming housekeeper, it has definite echoes of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, but is a strong enough story in its own right to overcome the comparison. It's filled with brilliant details; the character names, such as that of the heroine Esperanza Gorst, are a joy in themselves ...more
I don’t give out five stars easily, but I was completely entranced by this book. The quality of the storytelling drew me in immediately, and the intriguing plot kept me turning the pages long into the night.

It’s hard to describe the story without giving away any of its many secrets. It’s set in 1876, and although it was written only recently, it’s presented in the writing style of a Victoriana mystery, a mood the author captures perfectly. Esperanza is sent by her guardian, Madame, to be a lady
The brilliant The Meaning of Night is a tough act to follow, but on balance The Glass of Time holds its own mainly due to the narrator voice the young Esperanza "Alice" Gorst who is set on her "great task" by her adoptive mother known as "Madame" and her tutor known as Basil Thornhaugh.

For people familiar with TMoN, the plot, who is really Esperanza, who is Madame, the tutor and all "mysterious" characters, and what her great task is, are all obvious pretty soon, but so what...

We follow Esper
Stephanie Griffin
Jul 24, 2008 rated it liked it
I'm a bit disappointed in this follow-up to THE MEANING OF NIGHT, my favorite book of 2006. I recommend reading that book before reading this book. Otherwise, I think one would become confused with all the information thats crammed in at the end of this story, apparently in order to make more sense of the storyline.
Tim Hicks
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Once again I give five stars to a book that actually isn't all that great but nonetheless delivers many hours of enjoyable reading. I don't think Cox was trying for great lit'ratcha here, so five it is.

There's a wonderful sense throughout this book that the author is always with you, looking over after each scene to raise an eyebrow or wink; but it's very subtle. I wonder if that's in the books of the actual period, none of which I have read for years.

It's a big book, and by the end there can'
Matt Schiariti
Nov 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
When I first picked up this book, I hadn't realized that it was a sequel to the Meaning of Night. I just saw that it was written by Michael Cox and being such a big fan of his first novel, I had to read it. Once I started to read the book and recognized some important names from Night, I was doubly pleased to turn each and every page.

This is yet another amazing work by Michael Cox. Without giving away too much, I'll just say that it expands on and continues the events as described in the Meaning
Dec 23, 2011 rated it did not like it
Reads like a third-rate MFA program gone very, very wrong. Wants to be Wilkie Collins. Isn't. Plot: ludicrously transparent from early in the novel. Characters: disappointingly flat and unmemorable, especially given what great lengths the author goes to to tell us how fascinating they all are. Writing: desperately needed a good editor to slash and burn all of the unnecessary repetition of plot background that was crammed into every other sentence. For example, from p.527: "I now notice, for the ...more
Sep 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-books
This is the sequel to Michael Cox's The Meaning of Night. Although I don't think it's absolutely necessary to read the books in the correct order, it would make sense to do so. You'll definitely get the most out of this book if you've read the previous novel first and are already familiar with the plot and the characters.

The way The Meaning of Night ended had left me feeling dissatisfied, but The Glass of Time provides the perfect continuation to the story. Our narrator is Esperanza Gorst, an or
Sarah Mac
Not nearly as good as The Meaning of Night (which I would label a masterpiece of pastiche sensational Victoriana). This one lacks the overriding suspense & mysterious onion-skin nuance of its predecessor; the story here is rather flat, with very little action (though certain scenes were still gripping) & the twists are telegraphed well ahead of the characters' on-page perception.

That being said, the writing is still good...despite it randomly slipping into present tense for no reason I
Mar 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
A sequel to The Meaning of Night, this book was fairly predictible. I knew right off who the main character was, who her mysterious guardians were, and had a feeling about how this would end. I did prefer Esperanza's narration in this book over Edward's narration in The Meaning of Night. Esperanza was much more of a likeable character than Edward.

Spoiler & opinion: Frankly, if the author didn't want to tip off his readers, he should have written his Edward character to have a little more cr
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Sydney
Just arrived from Japan through BM.

A real page-turner book by Michael Cox telling the story of Esperanza Gorst who became a lady's maid of the 26th Baroness Tansor in the country house of Evenwood.

She has a great mission, to perform The Great Task established by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, in order to find her true origins in Evenwood.

The author's style of writing reminds in some way the work made by Dickens and W. Collins with superb mastery.
Mar 26, 2010 rated it liked it
"The Glass of Time," a sequel to "The Meaning of Night," is a well written book with an intriguing story of revenge and restoration at its core. While "The Meaning of Night" was a Victorian noir mystery, "The Glass of Time" does not seem to have the elements of a mystery novel and is better termed a "resolution sequel." While the story is crafted well, the levels of suspense and intrigue are several notches lower than "The Meaning of Night." The two main characters, Emily Duport and Esperanza Go ...more
Evelyn Morgan
This is a well-written book as far as vocabulary, writing skills, etc. My main problem with it was its length. I don't expect action on each and every page, but this plot was so very, very slow that I almost gave up on it several times. Some of the main characters were interesting, but others were so boring as to not care if they were eventually killed off. I hate to give any book a two-star rating, but I truly didn't enjoy this one. I only read to the end to see if Miss Gorst would succeed in h ...more
Lenny Goldstein
Jul 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Fun follow up to The Meaning of Night!
There is something about the redeemable bad guy, or more accurately, there is something about certain bad guys that make people want to redeem them. Usually, it fails in terms of the story. The bad guy becomes too saint like or something else.

Take the three Star Wars prequels, for instance (aka the bad Star Wars movies). In the three prequels, Lucas wanted to present the fall of a good man, a space opera Macbeth as it were.

Shakespeare has nothing to worry about (unless, he's turning over in his
A bit of a disappointment. I loved Cox's The Meaning of Night and was eager to see what he would do next. This is a sequel to that first book. It is 22 years since Edward Glyver killed Phoebus Daunt, preventing Daunt from inheriting the Tansor barony. Now Emily Carteret, Daunt's fiancee and the woman Glyver loved, has become Baroness Tansor. An orphaned young woman, Esperanze Gorst, arrives at the Tansor manor house seeking to become lady's maid to the baroness. But, as we discover early on, Esp ...more
Janette Fleming
Nov 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-books
Like The Meaning of Night, its predecessor, The Glass of Time is a page turning period mystery about identity, the nature of secrets, and what happens when past obsessions impose themselves on an unwilling present.
In the autumn of 1876, nineteen year-old orphan Esperanza Gorst arrives at the great country house of Evenwood to become a lady's maid to the twenty-sixth Baroness Tansor. But Esperanza is no ordinary servant. She has been sent by her guardian, the mysterious Madame de l'Orme, to uncov
Gloria Piper
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Here is a literary novel, leisurely told to us by Miss Esperanza Gorst. Subtly moving back and forth between present and past tense, she brings us into England of the mid-1800s. Evenwood, with its house and grounds, is like Paradise. And it's here most terrible secrets are revealed, involving betrayal, theft, and murder.
Upon Esperanza's entry into adulthood, the woman who raised her assigns her a mysterious Great Task. She must hire on as a servant at Evenwood. Once she accomplishes this, Esp
Jul 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
A real humdinger of a Gothic novel, with a hint of Jane Eyre about it. Orphan Esperanza Gorst has been carefully groomed in Paris all her life for a Great Task, by a mysterious guardian and an equally mysterious tutor. But at age 19, that moment has arrived, and she is dispatched off to the vast and stately English country house of Evenwood, to apply for the job of lady's maid to the beautiful and imperious Lady Tansor. In no time she is promoted to the Lady's companion, but the Task still lies ...more
I wasn't sure if this book was going to be something I would like. I'd read the author's first novel 'The Meaning of Night' and thought it was far too drawn out. I did find this story to be very drawn out as well and at times I suspected we were headed down the same path as the last book. But I liked this protagonist and felt invested in finding out what happened to her so I kept reading. I’m glad I did.

I actually liked the main characters very much. They were dynamic and flawed, though some of
Dec 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Okay listen, I know I give five stars to almost everything I read. I am easily pleased, it's true and if I don't like a book, I generally don't talk too much about it. But this book was WONDERFUL. Dense, dark and bitter; if it were a food it would have been a chocolate truffle. It's a murder mystery at it's core but the plot is so much more than that, taking twists and turns at nearly every page, creating sympathy for charactes you're supposed to hate and suspicion for those who appear to be ups ...more
4.5 stars for "The Glass of Time". I read the Dutch translation, and thought it was really good. It is full of old family mysteries and crimes that need discovering and solving.

I also have to add that there is absolutely NO need to read "the Meaning of Night" first. I didn't. When I got the book I don't think I was aware that there was another book I was supposed to read first and when I found out what the other book was about I didn't care about getting it as it did not sound like my thing.
I m
Catherine Siemann
It's nice to read a neoVictorian by someone who gets it as right as Cox (M.R. James biographer and editor of various Victorian ghost story and mystery collections). The language is neither stilted and forced, nor anachronistic, but feels genuinely of the period. The characters are not the ones that Collins or Dickens might have written, but neither are they dressed up moderns. And the plot, nicely intricate, feels like a Victorian novel would feel, and yet comes from a different place. Things co ...more
Elizabeth K.
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009-new-reads
I'm not sure I got what was going on here. It's written in the present day, in the style of a Victorian Gothic, about a family mystery that takes place in a manor house in 19th century England. That's all good -- who doesn't like a good case of upstairs downstairs mistaken identities and brooding love affairs and family crypts and disgruntled heirs? It was all very pleasant, but left me wondering why I was reading it. It is literally a mock-up of a Victorian-era novel, but it doesn't inform your ...more
Oct 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Not a bad read, considering how long it is. I was expecting something a little more Sarah Waters-esque, so it was a little disappointing that way, not as taut as I would have liked. There were also too many characters for my liking. The storyline in itself is very good, but also there is a LOT of detail and it's a bit complicated and hard to remember all the little bits. I'm curious as to if it would have been better if I'd have read "The Meaning of Night" first. The author did a good job of wri ...more
Sep 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, france, england
You know the kind of books you buy on sale not really knowing if it will be any good but something makes you wonder about it and it being on sale convinces you to take the risk? Those kind of books which the completely unexpectedly you enjoy so much? Esperanza tells her story in one if those books and takes you with her when she us send from her home in Paris to Evenwood in England. Her story and live is based in lies, even more than she realizes and suddenly her life seems only to exist to succ ...more
May 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gothic
Was looking forward to this Victorian era mystery/gothic - the premise was interesting, and, for the first half of the book, seemed to be leading somewhere good. But the plot got see-through, and the relationships just didn't ring true. I enjoyed parts of the book, but it seemed to me to be the perfect example of telling a story vs. creating a world. Entertaining, but unmoving in any real way. I guess it's all in what you're looking for.
Virginia S Branham
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book a few years ago and still think about it when I am suggesting good books to my friends who read for the pleasure of the written word. I loved this book and was surprised to find it was book #2. It is completely stand alone book and, in fact, I liked it better than book#1. I have told friends that if I had read them in the correct order I may have not read the 2nd book. This book was so deeply beautiful and touching that it has struck with me for a few years.
This was not as good as the first... but then again, the first was above & beyond... As in the first book, this was full of shocking twists... every time the reader thinks he and/or she has figured it out, they find out that they might be right in a few things, but Cox throws in an extra twist that you never considered... It really saddens me that there will be no more titles by Mr. Cox, because I would definitely be in line to read any new stories... rest in peace...
Michael Cayley
Jan 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Although a sequel to another novel, "The Meaning of Night", this can be read, as I did, as a standalone novel. It is a brilliant pastiche of Victorian sensation fiction, of the kind of which Wilkie Collins was a master, complete with murders, disguise, deceit, and a cornucopia of secrets. It is long, like many of the Victorian novels it imitates, but not a page too long. The portrayal of the complex relationship between the two lead characters is superb. I was hooked from beginning to end.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

This is Michael^Cox, where ^=space. (default profile)

About the Author:
Michael Andrew Cox was an English biographer, novelist and musician.
He also held the position of Senior Commissioning Editor of reference books for Oxford University Press.

Other books in the series

The Meaning of Night (2 books)
  • The Meaning of Night (The Meaning of Night, #1)