Read The Glass Painter's Daughter Online

Authors: Rachel Hore

Tags: #Read

The Glass Painter's Daughter

BOOK: The Glass Painter's Daughter
2.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Praise for
The Memory Garden
 

‘With her second novel, Rachel Hore proves she does place and setting as well as romance and relationships. Tiny, hidden Lamorna Cove in Cornwall is the backdrop to two huge tales of illicit passion and thwarted ambition…Clever stuff’

Daily Mirror

 

‘Rachel Hore knows the tricks of her trade and keeps the pages turning by adding a hint of a past mystery, too. Cleverly done’

Now

 

‘Rachel’s Hore’s second novel is pitched perfectly for a holiday read’

Guardian

 

‘An engrossing read!’
Yours

Praise for Rachel Hore’s debut novel
The Dream House
 

‘A beautifully written and magical novel about life, love and family…tender and funny, warm and wise, the story of one woman’s search for the perfect life which isn’t quite where she thought she would find it. I loved it!’

CATHY KELLY

 

‘What a treat! It’s so very real and utterly unputdownable’

CHRIS MANBY

 

‘I loved it. It’s brilliantly evocative, wonderfully romantic and it kept me guessing right through to the end’

DAISY WAUGH

 

‘I found this a totally absorbing, intriguing and romantic read, and the period detail, in particular, was beautifully evoked. A wonderfully atmospheric debut by a writer to watch’

ISABEL WOLFF

 


The Dream House
is a book that so many of us will identify with…engrossing, pleasantly surprising and thoroughly readable’

SANTA MONTEFIORE

 

‘I enjoyed it enormously…a wonderfully evocative and cleverly woven story’

BARBARA ERSKINE

 

‘Warm, very true to life and totally engrossing’

JENNY COLGAN

 
Also by Rachel Hore
 

The Dream House

The Memory Garden

First published in Great Britain by Pocket Books UK, 2009
An imprint of Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
A CBS COMPANY

Copyright © Rachel Hore, 2009

This book is copyright under the Berne Convention.
No reproduction without permission.
® and © 1997 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved.
Pocket Books & Design is a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster Inc.

The right of Rachel Hore to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.

Simon & Schuster UK Ltd
1st Floor
222 Gray’s Inn Road
London WC1X 8HB

www.simonsays.co.uk

Simon & Schuster Australia
Sydney

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN-13: 978-1-84739-868-0
ISBN-10: 1-84739-868-5

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, events or locales is purely coincidental.

To Felix, Benjy and Leo–
non angeli sed Angli.

(Not angels but Englishmen.)

In old days there were angels who came and took men by the hand and led them away from the city of destruction. We see no white-winged angels now. But yet men are led away from threatening destruction: a hand is put into theirs, which leads them forth gently towards a calm and bright land, so that they look no more backward; and the hand may be a little child’s.

George Eliot,
Silas Marner

 

Woman is like the Archangel Michael as he stands upon Saint Angelo at Rome. She has an immense provision of wings, which seem as if they would bear her over earth and heaven, but when she tries to use them, she is petrified into stone, her feet are grown into the earth, chained to the bronze pedestal.

Florence Nightingale,
Cassandra

 
Acknowledgments
 

I wish to thank all the people who helped me during the research and writing of this novel. Susan Mathews, Curator of the Stained Glass Museum at Ely Cathedral, gave generously of her time and expertise. Ian de Arth taught a lively and interesting evening class in copper foil and lead work. Colin Dowdeswell provided useful tips about playing the tuba. The Reverend Colin Way, Victoria Hook, Juliet Bamber and Dr Hilary Johnson all read the script with an eagle eye. The Eaton Parishes Choir provided an enjoyable experience of choral singing.

Immeasurable thanks are due to my agent Sheila Crowley and her colleagues at A. P. Watt and Curtis Brown. At Simon & Schuster, I am indebted to Suzanne Baboneau and Libby Vernon’s excellent editing, and to the rest of the team there, especially Sue Stephens and Jeff Jamieson.

Lastly, but by no means least, thanks to my family. My mother Phyllis is my number one fan; my children have several times saved my memory stick from the jaws of their puppy; my husband David helps in more ways than he knows.

I consulted a wide number of books and websites. The following were especially helpful:
Victorian Stained Glass
by Martin Harrison,
Stained Glass in England
by June Osborne,
Edward Burne-Jones
by Penelope Fitzgerald,
Perceptions of Angels in History
by Henry Mayr-Harting,
A Treasury of Angels
by Jacky Newcomb,
Teen Angel
by Glennyce S. Eckersley,
Westminster and Pimlico Past
by Isobel Watson, the Canterbury Cathedral Stained Glass Studio website (www.stained-glass-studio.org.uk) and www.williamsandbyrne.co.uk.

Prologue
 

London, 3 September 1993

 

The stained-glass shop had worn its
Closed
sign for nearly a week, though that hadn’t stopped people from testing the door handle or staring in through the window, hoping for signs of life. Some of the lights were on, after all, and passers-by were startled from their early-morning stupor by the exquisite items on display: the angel glowing centre stage in its arched pane; delicate suncatchers–dragonflies and fairies–quivering in some draught; myriad Tiffany-style lampshades receding across the shop ceiling like lush flowers studding a tropical rainforest canopy.

One very young woman who stopped by every day noticed that sometimes the door at the back of the shop stood open and sometimes it was closed, that sometimes there were two or three cardboard boxes stacked on the counter and sometimes none.

Someone visited the shop several times that week: a middle-aged man with a military bearing, dressed in a tweed jacket and clerical collar. The first morning, he tried the door and found it locked. He stepped back to inspect the words
Minster Glass
gleaming over the shop-front, adjusted his spectacles to read the opening times listed beneath the
Closed
sign, then frowned before setting off back across the public garden of the Square. The next day he pushed a white envelope through the letterbox. On the third occasion, as he scrawled the phone number given on the sign into a small notebook, a woman in a plastic apron and with a fat purse in her hand emerged from the coffee shop next door.

‘You wanting Mr Morrison?’ she asked, looking the man up and down as if to satisfy herself that he wasn’t one of them down-and-outs. ‘He’s not at all well. The ambulance come last week.’ She knew no more. He thanked her anyway as he pocketed the notebook and turned away.

Eventually, mid-afternoon on Friday, a black cab sailed out of the traffic and pulled up outside the shop. A slight, neat woman with shoulder-length dark hair and a pale complexion climbed out and started dragging an assortment of baggage onto the pavement.

Anita in the café, glancing out of the window as she waited for the coffee machine to deliver an espresso, surveyed the scuffed leather holdall and the overflowing rucksack, and wondered what could be in the hard, odd-shaped case. Must be a musical instrument of some sort, she supposed. Either that, or the shape suggested a very small elephant.

The girl dismissed the cab and stood among her belongings gazing wistfully at
Minster Glass.
In her short tailored coat and striped scarf, and with her brown eyes soulful below her fringe, she looked like a reluctant schoolgirl returning to her institution after a glorious summer break. Anita was new to the café, otherwise she might have guessed the younger woman’s identity, and realised that, as she contemplated her father’s shop, Fran Morrison’s entire life was passing before her eyes.

BOOK: The Glass Painter's Daughter
2.03Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Transition by Iain M. Banks
Widows & Orphans by Michael Arditti
Queens Consort by Lisa Hilton
The Sculptress by Minette Walters
Juvenile Delinquent by Richard Deming
I'm Your Man by Timothy James Beck