Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning, bestselling author Jane Urquhart’s eagerly anticipated new novel is a magnificent accomplishment and her strongest to date.
Jane Urquhart’s stunning new novel weaves two parallel stories, one set in contemporary Toronto and Prince Edward County, the other in the nineteenth century on the northern shores of Lake Ontario. A novel about loss and the transitory nature of place, A Map of Glass contains all the elements for which Jane Urquhart’s novels are celebrated.
Sylvia Bradley was rescued from her parents’ house by a doctor attracted to and challenged by her withdrawn ways. Their subsequent marriage has nourished her, but ultimately her husband’s care has formed a kind of prison. When she meets Andrew, a historical geographer, her world changes.
A year after Andrew’s death, Sylvia makes a connection with Jerome, a young conceptual artist/photographer who, while executing one of his outdoor projects, discovers Andrew’s body. After Sylvia escapes to the city, she shares with Jerome the story of Andrew’s forebears, a story that goes back to the nineteenth century amidst the flourishing timber and shipbuilding industries of Lake Ontario. This story is the breathtaking centre of A Map of Glass, an intricate novel enriched by moments of vivid history come to life and haunting imagery. It stands as her richest, most accomplished novel to date.
"Urquhart's passion for the past (The Stone Carvers) and the land (The Underpainters, winner of the Governor General's Award in Canada) are at full poetic play in this intricate story of love, loss and memory. Set in present-day Toronto and in the 19th-century world of rural Ontario timber barons, it opens with the wintry death of Alzheimer's sufferer Andrew, whose body, borne by an ice floe, runs aground on the small Lake Ontario island where artist Jerome McNaughton is seeking inspiration. The story steps back a century, to when Andrew's ancestors, owners of the same island, razed forests to build ships, then it jumps forward a year from the opening scene of Andrew's death, to when Sylvia, Andrew's married lover of 20 years, sets out to meet with Jerome, who discovered Andrew's body, and, through Jerome, to reconnect one last time with Andrew. Meanwhile, Jerome, the relationship-shy adult child of an abusive, alcoholic father, is slowly coming to trust that girlfriend Mira's love for him is real. Urquhart reveals all of their haunted personal histories in the lyrical first and third parts of the novel. But it's in the compact family-saga middle, where a slew of Andrew's memorable forebears take the stage, that this novel's luminous heart truly lies." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Award-winning, bestselling author Urquhart's eagerly anticipated new novel is a magnificent accomplishment and her strongest to date as it weaves two parallel stories, one set in contemporary Toronto and Prince Edward County, the other in the 19th century on the northern shores of Lake Ontario.
About the Author
Jane Urquhart is the bestselling author of five internationally acclaimed, award-winning novels. She is also the author of a collection of short fiction, Storm Glass, and three books of poetry. She lives in Southwestern Ontario.