Dusty Book: Through a Glass Darkly

Shelf RenewalKarleen Koen’s Through a Glass Darkly (1986) is one of my go-to historical fiction finds. It has a strong female protagonist, rich historical detail, and both a prequel and a sequel, to boot, for if the patron enjoys it.

Set in eighteenth-century England, it’s the tale of headstrong Barbara Alderley, who was born into a rapidly declining noble family. At age 16 she’s betrothed to a neighboring earl, who is only after her family’s land. But no matter, because she’s actually in love with him, despite a 26-year age difference. He takes her on a whirlwind trip through society, including the French court (ooh-la-la!).Through a Glass

Sweeping, romantic, and absorbing, Through a Glass Darkly was followed 10 years later by Now Face to Face (1996), which continues Barbara’s adventures in the New World; another 10 years after that came the prequel, Dark Angels (2006), with the story of Barbara’s grandmother. This epic which spans decades is a sure bet for reading enjoyment!

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About the Author:

Rebecca Vnuk is the editor for Collection Management and Library Outreach at Booklist. She is also the author of 3 reader’s-advisory nonfiction books: Read On…Women’s Fiction (2009), Women’s Fiction: A Guide to Popular Reading Interests (2014), and Women’s Fiction Authors: A Research Guide (2009). Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_RVnuk.

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