MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Summary and book reviews of A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart

A Map of Glass

by Jane Urquhart

A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart X
A Map of Glass by Jane Urquhart
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2006, 375 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2007, 375 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Jerome, a young artist on a remote island retreat, discovers the body of an old man, Andrew Woodman, frozen in the ice. One year after the body is discovered, Sylvia Bradley – a withdrawn, sheltered woman whose secret affair with Andrew changed her world forever – decides to learn more about her lover’s mysterious disappearance. She flees to the overwhelming, unfamiliar city of Toronto on a quest to find Jerome. Once she does, they work together to uncover both the secrets of their own pasts and the story of Andrew’s ancestors.

The eagerly anticipated new novel from the best-selling Canadian author of The Stone Carvers and The Underpainter.

Andrew Woodman stumbles through a snowstorm, slowly losing his strength, his language, and his memories of the once-familiar island landscape around him. When Jerome, a young artist on a remote island retreat, discovers the old man’s body frozen in the ice later that winter, the rich narrative tapestry of A Map of Glass begins.

One year after Andrew’s body is discovered, Sylvia Bradley – a withdrawn, sheltered woman whose secret affair with Andrew changed her world forever – decides to learn more about her lover’s mysterious disappearance. She flees to the overwhelming, unfamiliar city of Toronto on a quest to find Jerome. Once she does, they work together to uncover both the secrets of their own pasts and the breathtaking story of Andrew’s ancestors.

With her celebrated lyrical prose and haunting imagery, Urquhart’s A Map of Glass is a skillful exploration of love, loss, and the transitory nature of place.

He is an older man walking in winter. And he knows this. There is white everywhere and a peculiar, almost acidic smell that those who have passed through childhood in a northern country associate with new, freshly fallen snow. He recognizes the smell but cannot bring to mind the word acidic. Snow, walking, and winter are the best he can come up with – these few words – and then the word older, which is associated with effort. Effort is what he is making; the effort to place one foot in front of the other, the effort required to keep moving, to keep moving toward the island.

It might have been more than an hour ago that he remembered, and then forgot, the word island. But even now, even though the word for island has gone, he believes he is walking toward a known place. He has a map of the shoreline in his brain; its docks and rundown wooden buildings, a few trees grown in the last century. Does he have the word for trees? Sometimes yes, but mostly no. He is ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Jane Urquhart doesn't title individual chapters, instead she divides her novel into three large sections: "The Revelations"; "The Bog Commissioners"; "A Map of Glass". Look at each of these sections and discuss why it is given that particular title. The name of the second section, "The Bog Commissioners," is at first mysterious because Joseph Woodman only stayed in Ireland as a bog commissioner for less than half a year. But something ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Urquhart continues her interest in unconventional art forms, a theme that has run through two of her previous novels, The Stone Carvers and The Underpainter, with a story that rewards the patient reader...continued

Full Review (337 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Her story flies in too many directions, and is hamstrung by appallingly portentous, theme-driven dialogue. At her best, this writer commands an impressive range of varied literary skills. But here, simpler would have been better.

Library Journal
The book starts slowly and quietly but rewards patient reading; at play here are big themes about the impermanence of everything: relationships, memory, possessions, civilizations, and even the landscape.

Quill & Quire
A serious, mature novel abundantly displaying the skill Urquhart has built up over decades in her poetry and prose.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Urquhart's passion for the past is at full poetic play in this intricate story of love, loss and memory.

Winnepeg Free Press
She displays a masterful command of language and a grasp of the complexities that form the tapestry of each person.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by Jane Urquhart

If you liked A Map of Glass, try these:

  • Ordinary Grace jacket

    Ordinary Grace

    by William Kent Krueger

    Published 2014

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Told from Frank's perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him.

  • Truth and Beauty jacket

    Truth and Beauty

    by Ann Patchett

    Published 2005

    About this book

    More books by this author

    This is a tender, brutal book about loving a person we cannot save. It is about loyalty, and about being lifted up by the sheer effervescence of someone who knew how to live life to the fullest.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for a year or $39 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Orange World and Other Stories
    by Karen Russell
    Karen Russell has a tremendous gift for crafting uncanny, through-the-looking glass worlds that are ...
  • Book Jacket: The Book of Longings
    The Book of Longings
    by Sue Monk Kidd
    The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd follows the life of Ana, a woman born in the Galilean city of ...
  • Book Jacket: Master Class
    Master Class
    by Christina Dalcher
    Christina Dalcher's Master Class shows America sleepwalking into a perfectionist eventuality not ...
  • Book Jacket: How to Pronounce Knife
    How to Pronounce Knife
    by Souvankham Thammavongsa
    Many examples of immigrant fiction dedicate a portion of their storytelling to exploring details of ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughter of the Reich
    by Louise Fein

    A spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Prisoner's Wife
    by Maggie Brookes

    Inspired by the true story of a courageous young woman who enters a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Paris Hours
by Alex George

One day in the City of Light. One night in search of lost time.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The House on Fripp Island

The House on Fripp Island
by Rebecca Kauffman

A taut, page-turning novel of secrets and strife.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

B I T T Water

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.