Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Tuesday Intros No. 7: Through A Glass Darkly, by Karleen Koen

Welcome to First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros,
hosted by Diane @

Every Tuesday, each participant
shares the first paragraph 
(sometimes two) from a book
they're reading,
or thinking about reading.

The book I've picked this week is...

 Through A Glass Darkly
Karleen Koen
Hardcover, 743 pages 
Random House, Inc.
July 12, 1986
Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction,


About the Book

A magnificent tapestry of a grand and glorious era.

As opulent and passionate as the 18th century it celebrates. Through A Glass Darkly will sweep you away to the splendors of a lost era. Like Gone With The Wind, it is rich with characters so vivid -- from aristocrats to scoundrels--they create their own immortality Here is the story of a great family ruled by a dowager of extraordinary power: of a young woman seeking love in a world of English luxury and French intrigue. and of a man haunted by a secret that could turn all their dreams to ashes...

Chapter One

Two voices, raised in anger, carried through the half-opened window of the library. Recognizing them, Barbara stopped and looked for a place to hide, a place where she might listen but not be seen. Seconds later she was burrowing into the ancient ivy that crisscrossed the mellowed red-pink brick of the house. Entangled, dense, persistent, its vines as thick as her wrists in places, the ivy released the house reluctantly. Each spring it sent cunning, thin green fingers curling under the window frames and into the rooms, and each spring her grandmother calmly snipped the fingers to bits with a pair of sewing scissors and ordered the gardeners to trim it down to size. Now, in November, it clung to the house stubbornly. Already many of its glossy dark green leaves were dulled yellow-brown with cold.

I can't believe I've owned this
novel for years, and have
yet to read it..... Incredible, right?  
From what I've posted above, 
would you say that
I should keep reading? 


Cleo Bannister said...

Maybe a little overblown for me but I do hope you enjoy this - it does sound like one of those books you can lose yourself in!

JoAnn said...

I read that book way back in 1986 and remember loving it!! Thirty years is a long time... wonder what I'd think today.

Charlie Anderson said...

Interesting fascination with the ivy. Perfect for eavesdropping! I would continue just to get an idea and feel.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Vivid descriptions...I can also relate to wanting to hear what is going on. Thanks for sharing, and here's mine: “TERRIBLE VIRTUE”

Margot said...

I liked the botany lesson, but I want to know who is arguing. I'll have to read on. Good one.

grammajudyb said...

Looks like a great read. It's a biggie!! Over 700 pages! I'd have to pass now, but I am adding it to my list to consider later. Thanks for sharing.

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Cleo!

Yes, it's definitely a book you can get lost in! I hope I make it out! Lol. But seriously, I've had this hefty tome on my shelves for years now. I need to read it!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

Beth F said...

Oh I had forgotten about this book. I remember really liking it.

France Booktours said...

Oh yes, I so need to finally read this author! Thanks for sharing

Literary Feline said...

I just love the title. I haven't read this one, although I have heard of it. I love the opening--it's so descriptive and I feel like I'm right there, hiding with her and listening.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Very atmospheric -I'd read more.

Heather Fineisen said...

I remember this novel! It seems like it was a faster read than the many pages indicate. Hope you enjoy!

Brian Joseph said...

I am not sure if I ever heard of this book before.

I like the writing in the opening that you posted. I would keep reading.

If you review it I am curious as to what you will ultimately think of it.

Maria Behar said...

Hi, JoAnn!

WOW! You read this book 30 years ago? I think I've had it for at least 20 years....Guess I should try to get to it soon, right? Lol.
Thanks for commenting! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Charlie!

Yes, I love this introduction with tge ivy! It puts you right in the scene! Idefinitely want to find out more!

Thanjs for commenting! :)

Maria Behar said...


Oh, I LOVE those descriptions! Thry put you right into the story! I really need to read this!

Thabks for the comment!! :)

Nise' said...

Read this years ago. Hope you love.

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Margot!

The botany lesson? Lol. This is a very vivid description, indeed. I, too, want to know who's arguing. Gotta get to this one soon!

Thanks for commenting!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Judy!

Oh, this definitely looks like a great read, and it IS massive. Maybe that's why I've had it sitting on my shelves for so long....lol.

Thanks for commenting!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Beth! Yeah, I know I'll like it, too! Thanks for the comment!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, France Book Tours! I have to read this one, too! Thanks for commenting!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Wendy (Literary Feline)!

The title comes from a Bible verse, but I don't remember which one. I like it, too. As for the descriptions of the ivy, they're truly wonderful. Hopefully, I'll be able to read this novel sometime this year....

Thanks for the comment!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Diane!

Yes, I agree -- this is very atmospheric. Glad you liked it!

thanks for commenting!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Brian!

I've had this hefty tome for years, and haven't gotten to it. I do want to read it, perhaps sometime this year. I know it was much praised when it was first published, and the writing style is just lovely! The cover is beautiful, too.

You may be sure I'll review it as soon as I've read it!

Thanks for commenting!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Nise!

I see that several commenters have read this novel, and loved it! That means I have to get started on it!

Thanks for commenting!! :)

Maria Behar said...

Hi, Heather!

It does look like a daunting read, with so many pages! But I see that several commenters here have read and liked it, so that's pushing me to go ahead and start it soon!

Thanks for commenting!! :)