The Sound of Glass was by far my favorite to date.
Based on my somewhat limited sampling, it appears White attempts to address a fairly serious issue in each of her novels. In The Sound of Glass, she tackles the very serious subject of domestic violence. Domestic violence, of course, is a topic that makes us cringe. White’s handling was done with an adept hand and lots of grace. Her story, however, also requires a fair amount of suspension of reality. That fact doesn’t deter from the fact that this is an interesting story with likeable characters.
The primary character is Merritt, whose husband Cal, a fire fighter, recently died on the job. Much to her surprise, she learns soon after that his grandmother has left him (and so now, her) the family home in Beaufort, South Carolina. Needing a change, Merritt leaves her Maine home to move to South Carolina to take up residence and refurbish her husband’s family’s home.
Through flashbacks and conversations with others, the author weaves the tale of three generations of domestic violence survivors. In addition to that topic, however, we also are given the opportunity to meet one of my favorite characters, Merritt’s stepmother Loralee. Loralee is only five years older than Merritt, and the mother of a 10-year-old son, Merritt’s half-brother Owen. The pair shows up uninvited on Merritt’s Beaufort doorstep, and changes Merritt’s life forever.
There is romance, and a bit of mystery and characters that are hard to forget. One of the things I like best about Karen White is that her books often take place in the low country of South Carolina, and her descriptions are vivid and beautiful.
There is just enough romance to be fun, and just the right amount of mystery. I enjoyed the book very much.