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The Parting Glass

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  21 reviews
Devoted maid Mary Ballard’s world is built on secrets, and it’s about to be ripped apart at the seams, in this lush and evocative debut set in 19th century New York, perfect for fans of Sarah Waters’s Fingersmith and Emma Donoghue’s Slammerkin.

By day, Mary Ballard is lady’s maid to Charlotte Walden, wealthy and accomplished belle of New York City high society. Mary loves C
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 5th 2019 by Atria Books
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4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  21 reviews

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Katherine Riley
Oct 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Despite surface appearances, The Parting Glass is no historical novel of corsets and bodices. This is a novel of “the whalebone beneath” — of the women of the house playing against men like chess pieces. It is also a timely microscope on the cyclical struggle against racism that has imbued this country’s entire bloody history, in this case focusing on Irish immigrants and the brutality and subjugation they incurred in the century before they became simply white. But what raises this story to the ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I find historical fiction stories fascinating when they are well written and researched. The Parting Glass was such a book.
This was a story of love...between an Irish brother and sister…and a shared love of an English heiress. But this was also a story where social class and racism were a part of everyday life…where Nativists and the Know Nothing party spread hatred and incited violence against immigrants and Catholics. It was not a time for a forbidden love to flourish, especially those harbor
Julia Phillips
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. So lush and immersive, so intelligently written. I loved this. Found myself thinking of the characters hours after I finished reading, as if they were friends I cared for and worried about. Sharp, vivid, excellent
Kris Waldherr
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just finished reading THE PARTING GLASS. Stunning writing paired with incredible research make for a lush, immersive read that's impossible to put down. Think Edith Wharton by way of Emma Donoghue—yup, it's that good! More to come closer to publication. Many thanks to the author and the publisher for the advance e-galley.
Martie Nees Record
Feb 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
Pub. Date: March 5, 2019

This novel, set in the 1830s, has all the makings of great storytelling. You will read much about Tammany Hall (the name given to the notoriously corrupt Democratic political machine that dominated New York City politics during the 19th century. You will meet Maire O'Farrell and her twin brother Seanin. They are from Ireland and fresh off a boat that landed them in the poverty-stricken area known as The Five Points. You might
Jessica Woodbury
Dec 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
One very simple way to get me to read historical fiction is to make it gay. Put a Fingersmith comp in there and I am putty in your hands. THE PARTING GLASS is about a lady's maid who just happens to be desperately in love with her lady.

Mary dresses her lady, does her hair, washes her, and tends to her. She also leaves her window open once a week so her lady's lover can sneak into her room. Oh, and that lover just happens to be Mary's brother. Mary (real name Maire) and her brother Sea
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Review forthcoming!
Aug 23, 2018 added it
Shelves: for-work
Certainly the sexiest historical novel I’ve ever read but with an intense, fascinating political backdrop and fully realized, complex characters that make this hist fic of the highest order
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I got an advance reader's copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

This is being billed as being tailored for those of us who love Fingersmith, so I had to pick it up; and I am not disappointed that I did.

Much like Fingersmith there are some twists and turns and an upstairs/downstairs romance, but I think that the setting here plaid a greater role. I quite enjoyed the descriptions of 19th century New York, especially after reading the author's afterword detailin
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, it isn’t Sarah Waters. But then again any historical fiction with Sapphic undertones is probably going to draw those comparisons, which frankly just isn’t fair to the books themselves. For me there’s nothing quite like Sarah Waters books, but then again even some of Sarah Waters books aren’t Sarah Waters, which is to say her work is uneven, but when it’s good it’s sublime. But then again, this is a review of an entirely different book and a very good one in its own right. Parting Glass is ...more
Paula Ptomey
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wanted someone so badly, but knew that they were out of your reach? Mary Ballard in Gina Marie Guadagnino's The Parting Glass, can understand how you feel. She knows that if her employer knew her true background, she would be sent away. However she loves her mistress more than she can imagine. So much so that she keeps her mistress' secrets, even when it drives a wedge between her and her brother. So what does she do when her mistress' secrets maybe found out? Now that her mistress ...more
3.5 stars, full review forthcoming!
Caroline Mea
Jan 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Gina Marie Guadagnino's debut novel is rich with history and imagery, and is unlike any historical fiction novel I have read before. The book stars a small cast of characters, narrated by Mary Ballard - aka Maire O'Farren. Mary is a lady's maid and has quite a few secrets of her own. By day she is prim, proper, and the perfect example of a lady's maid to her beloved Charlotte Walden. By night, she is Maire, a regular at the pub, drinking and swearing with the rest of the boys. This is all compli ...more
Paul Pessolano
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The Parting Glass” by Gina Marie Guadagnino, published by Atria Books.

Category – Fiction/Literature Publication Date – March 05, 2019.

In 19th Century New York Irish immigrants had a difficult time becoming a part of society. They found it difficult to find even minor jobs and often had to hide their identity.

Maire O’Farren and her brother, Seanin, find they must change their name to survive. Maire becomes Mary Ballard and Seanin becomes Johnny Prior. They find employment in the Walden househol
Sherry Chiger
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I practically devoured this novel. It packs a lot in between its covers—a love triangle, class divisions, gender issues, the plight of the Irish—but the book never feels overstuffed, nor is any theme given short shrift. The pacing is perfect, 1830s New York well evoked, the characters multidimensional, and the few sex scenes wonderfully written. Just when you think you have the plot sussed, an unexpected but not far-fetched twist appears. The narrator comes across as somewhat unlikeable at first ...more
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up the pre-release of this book at the ALA midwinter conference and DEVOURED it on the flight home. When I saw the blurb on the front saying it was "Downton Abbey meets Gangs of New York" I was instantly interested and 100% not disappointed. The world that is created in this book is exquisitely detailed and captivating, and I could not put it down.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it
I struggle to review this because I enjoyed the author's writing style, historical accuracy, and descriptive language. However, be forewarned that the sex scenes are graphic and in my opinion, gratuitous.
I received an ARC of this book to review for Library Journal. Please read my review there when it is published.
Denise Guadagnino
rated it really liked it
Feb 19, 2019
Amy Morgan
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Sep 24, 2018
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Dec 29, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 24, 2019
Kenzie Erickson
rated it it was ok
Jan 29, 2019
rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2019
Kate Hope Day Day
rated it it was amazing
Aug 07, 2018
Hanna Yost
rated it really liked it
Feb 12, 2019
Megan Rudloff
rated it it was amazing
Nov 12, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2018
Amber Carroll
Feb 07, 2019 is currently reading it
Wow what a wonderful work of art! I love the story of love! It did take me awhile for me to get in this book but once I did I loved it!
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Gina Marie Guadagnino's debut novel, THE PARTING GLASS, will be released from Atria Books in Spring 2019. Her previously published work includes three short stories: "Whisper in the Shadows," which appears in THE MORRIS-JUMEL ANTHOLOGY OF FANTASY AND PARANORMAL FICTION; "In the Sky She Floats," which appears in MIXED UP: COCKTAIL RECIPES (AND FLASH FICTION) FOR THE DISCERNING DRINKER (AND READER0; ...more