Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Sunday 24 June 2012

The Glass Guardian - Linda Gillard

'Do you sense the past at Tigh-na-Linne?'

When her dear Aunt Janet passes away, Ruth Travers inherits 'Tigh-na-Linne', a large old house on the Isle of Skye. She spent summers here in her childhood. Losing her Aunt is one in a series of bereavements that Ruth has experienced in a short space of time, with both her father and also her partner having passed away. Her television career as a horticulturalist isn't looking very promising either. When she revisits the house on Skye, wondering what her options might be other than to sell the place, as she is sorting through her Aunt's musical compositions, and uncovering information about the family history, she discovers that she isn't the only one present in the house. In fact, a man who lost his life nearly a hundred years earlier is still very much a part of 'Tigh-na-Linne', and Ruth feels a strong attraction towards him. Could she be falling in love...with a ghost?

Ruth is a likeable and sympathetic character. Her mother died whilst Ruth was young, and her father was never able to develop a close relationship with his daughter, leaving Ruth with her Aunt Janet to offer her the closest to a maternal love in her childhood. Ruth shares her recollections of times spent at the house on Skye in her youth. The novel opens with an episode from Ruth's childhood, involving the pond in the garden at Tigh-na-Linne; an event which will have some significance as the story unfolds. 

The author sensitively explores Ruth's feelings of loss, of not being certain of the next step in her life, and, as the seasons change, the beautiful but increasingly isolated location and the depiction of the wintry weather adds to the atmosphere of the story. Equally sensitive is the portrayal of the strong love story that emerges, and how someone who knows so much about death can teach someone else so much about life. I don't want to reveal anything further about the story here, as it is for the reader to discover the characters and their connections as the story develops.

I have enjoyed reading many of this author's previous novels and this one was no exception. Linda Gillard writes convincingly and authentically about emotions and relationships, creating believable female characters who have lived life, and attractive male leads, incorporating serious elements, and humour, as well as always delivering a highly readable, compelling storyline that keeps me engrossed. Here the author gives the reader an extra dimension to the story, offering us a supernatural or paranormal element to the tale.  

This is a captivating story, dealing with passionate love and tragic death, loss, isolation, family history and secrets. I liked the inclusion of music and the key role it has to play in this story. I love the combination of a love story with a ghostly twist to the tale. A ghost story or a story with a supernatural element wouldn't be my first choice of read, but Linda handles this element in a clever way and incorporates it into a convincing story and consequently I felt drawn in to the ideas raised and open to what occurs.

An old, crumbling house, snow falling all around, and a handsome ghost...curling up with this book on a dark night would be perfect! I love the stunning cover picture.

Available now as an ebook for Kindle from and (priced £1.90/$2.99)

You can visit the author's website here to find out more, and also follow her on facebook.

Linda kindly provided an excerpt and an introduction to The Glass Guardian for this blog, which you can find here. 


  1. This sounds like something I would very much like to read. I hope it comes out in paperback (I don't have a kindle)

    1. Thanks for commenting Barbara, this is a really good read, glad you like the sound of it. Hopefully you might like to read it on one of the other devices you can read Kindle books on eg the PC.

  2. There are currently no plans for a pb, Barbara. But you don't have to have a Kindle. If you don't mind reading on a screen, the Kindle app is free to download for PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android and (I think) Blackberry.

    1. Thanks so much for commenting Linda :) x

  3. Wow, your review really drew me into the story. Now following your blog :)

    Bound 2 Astound

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Brandi, and for following :)


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