Copyright: 2003 (first published 1986)
This book had been on my TBR pile for quite some time before I plucked it off my shelf and boy, am I glad that I did! This is one of the books that when you read it, you could just kick yourself in the shin for not reading it sooner! I LOVE drama and this book did not disappoint.
Through a Glass Darkly is a novel about Barbara Alderley and is set in England and France in the early 18th century. Barbara and her siblings were raised by her grandmother, the Duchess of Tamworth. Her mother, Diana, being too selfish and caught up in her own drama to worry about the children she bore and her father has just left the family, taking the money with him.
When Barbara’s mother informs her that plans are in motion for Barbara to wed Roger Montgeoffrey, she cannot contain herself, to her mother’s surprise. Roger was an old friend of her grandfather’s that she has been secretly in love with since she was younger. What Barbara does not know is that she is part of a deal her mother has concocted.
The story goes on to follow Barbara as she moves to London and marries Roger. She quickly grows up when surrounded by the deception and cruelty of the English and French courts.
I really enjoyed this novel. The characters were well-developed and easy to like, although they had their own faults (but that’s what makes them real). Koen paints a very pretty picture through her words and you as the reader feel like you are right there with Barbara through all of her ups and downs. What was interesting to me was watching as Barbara tried to stay true to herself and her beliefs amidst the licentiousness of court. The love between Barbara and Roger was beautifully written, so much so, that you could feel it in your heart. One word of caution: have plenty of tissues ready when you are near the end.
I highly recommend this book to all historical fiction fans!
When you can no longer taste the divine nectar of life, when love no longer exists, then life is death.
Never run away from the truth because you carry it on your shoulder and someday it will put its ugly face into yours and say, “Boo”.
Forgiveness: It is never done well in little bits and dabs. Do it all at once and never look back, or do not do it at all.
Change is an easy thing to decide and a difficult thing to do. It is the day-to-day struggle of it that defeats people. Do not despair if old ways look good to you. Despair only if you fall into them too often.