Through a Glass Darkly eBook õ Through a MOBI

Through a Glass Darkly ❰Reading❯ ➺ Through a Glass Darkly Author Karleen Koen – THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLEROne of the most beloved historical fiction novels of all timeAs opulent and passionate as the 18th century it celebrates Through A Glass Darkly sparkles with all of the ex THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLEROne of the most beloved historical fiction novels of all timeAs opulent and passionate as the th century it celebrates Through a Glass Darkly sparkles with all of the Through a MOBI :º extravagance and scandal of a grand and glorious eraBarbara Alderly has loved her husband the wealthy charming Earl of Devane Roger Montgeoffry since childhood Set against a French court awash in intrigue treachery and debauchery Barbara must learn to navigate the dark currents of deception scandal and betrayal Peopled by a cast of unforgettable characters here is the story of a great family ruled by a dowager of extraordinary power; a young woman coming of age seeking love in the midst of a storm; her mother the cruel and self centered Diana; and of a man haunted by a secret that could turn all of their dreams to ashesLike no other historical fiction novel Through a Glass Darkly is infused with intrigue sweetened by romance and awash in the black ink of betrayal.

10 thoughts on “Through a Glass Darkly

  1. Jenny Brown Jenny Brown says:

    Seeing the various 1 and 2 star reviews for this brilliant novel and its seuel Now Face to Face confirms me in the belief growing over the past year that a certain proportion of today's readers are so poorly educated and emotionally blunted that great historical fiction is completely wasted on themI found the characters in these novels were richly crafted well rounded people who lived within the beliefs and culture of their time rather than modern day people plopped into the middle of some imagined past The relationships in these books were real too not wish fulfillment Cinderella fantasies The writing carried me along painting rich detailed scenes I could sink into while keeping me turning the pages wondering what would happen next Yes they are big long books but they are creating a whole world filled with real people And the brilliance and complexity of the plotting of these two volumes is breathtaking Reading both books back to back was like time traveling to the second and third decade of the 1700s a period about which I knew almost nothing I loved that we were not repeating the same old stories about the same three historical personages the poorly educated can't get enough of Please no Anne Boleyn Elizabeth and Jane Austen It was a pleasure to read a book this entertaining that also taught me a lot about events in an obscure corner of history It was a delight to read a novel with such a fascinating and flawed set of characters about whom we end up caring so very deeply It was even delightful not to have the Pretender romanticized and to see the real cost of political machinations and political venality made so clear Thanks you Ms Koen for restoring my faith in historical novels

  2. K K says:

    After some grappling and soul searching I have finally decided not to finish this book As Karen said in her review there's nothing wrong with indulging in a trashy novel occasionally but 750 pages is a big investment for trashThis book reminded me of some of the Philippa Gregory books I've tried to read and abandoned although I did find the characters here slightly interesting Barbara a beautiful how could she not be? headstrong naturally 15 year old is engaged to 40 something Lord Roger Devane whom she loves in a worshipful way and you just know that she's going to get hurt in this relationship Although this worshipful unreuited love by heroines has annoyed me in the past I could forgive it a little just a little in Barbara because she is after all 15 Roger has agreed to marry little Barbara despite their age difference because she comes with property in which he would like to invest Roger though mostly a cad actually does care for Barbara on some level although his love clearly doesn't match hers a deeply rooted passion which is based on uh his good looks? It takes them a while to actually get married because of scheming on the part of various family members with regard to the property and milking Roger As a result the book was slower than your typical Harleuin cum historical romance and I closed it after finally reaching their wedding night on page 250 or so Other things that annoyed me included ridiculously heavy handed characterization For example Barbara's cousin Tony the stupid but goodhearted character in the book continuously leaves off the first words of his sentences in an effort to remind you of his limited intelligence except for those rare moments where he shines in heroically His sentences in those scenes are helpfully complete sometimes accompanied by asides from the author pointing out that this was one of the rare occasions in which he spoke in full sentences What is that? Is he just pretending to be dumb the rest of the time? I wasn't motivated to read far enough to solve this mystery Barbara also consistently lifts her chin whenever she's deciding to defy authority She's lifting her chin look out world These types of trashy pretending to be literary historical romances are also often guilty of anachronism I found the character of Roger's friend Tommy Carlyle a flaming homosexual complete with heels make up and sexy young men draped on his arms extremely difficult to swallow for the 1700s Look I don't know much about that period of history but I really find it hard to believe that one could be so blatantly homosexual and still function as a part of high society in those days a group which in this book included the British royal family another hallmark of this type of historical fiction of course they're all best buds with the people in the history books as Sarah pointed out in her review of MarchI actually gave this three stars because if you're a forgiving reader who likes historical romance I could see this being a good read despite its flaws If it had been shorter and tighter I would have finished it and maybe even enjoyed it However if you want a good historical romance I would suggest Outlander by Diana Gabaldon instead

  3. Misfit Misfit says:

    “When I was a child I spake as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child but when I become a man I put away childish things For now we see through a glass darkly but then face to face”Through a Glass Darkly is the second in a three book series set in Georgian England Barbara is the granddaughter of the Duke and Duchess of Tamworth and she and her younger siblings were raised by their grandparents instead of their parents Kit and Diana Alderley Kit is an exiled Jacobite involved in the plots to put James III on the throne and Diana is a scheming slut desperate to wed Diana off to a wealthy man to save her from her creditors Diana is negotiating with the much older but very wealthy Roger Montgeoffry Earl Devane and Barbara is thrilled as she'd always loved Roger from afar although Diana’s insatiable greed might bring those talks to a screeching haltThe path to true love and married bliss is never easy especially when you have a family as complicated and double dealing as the Barbara’s it is way too complex to try and explain just sit back and enjoy the fun Roger eventually takes his new wife and business to Paris and an innocent Barbara soon gets uite an education in the debauched lifestyle of the French court and its courtiers Someone from Roger's past returns that thoroughly upsets Barbara's marital applecart and sends her life spinning out of control and only Grandmama can set it to rights Or can she?And that's all I'm going to tell you I don't write book reports This is the second time I've read the book and I enjoyed it just as much as the first While I enjoyed all of the family's antics I most especially adored Grandmama and her cats as well as Barbara's very smutty mother who steals every scene she’s in I loved watching Barbara mature from a young innocent you will want to slap her a few times to a mature woman who could take just about anything life threw her way – and life throws her a lot of heartache It broke my heart watching Tony’s unreuited love for Barbara and as for Philippe? Grrrrrr This is a book to be savored like a box of fine chocolate or a rich red wine Highly recommended and one I will read again and again and again The first book in the series is Dark Angels and the last is Now Face to Face I recommend reading Dark Angels last after you have come to know and love the old Duchess then go back and read Alice and Richard’s story

  4. Naksed Naksed says:

    Through a glass darkly by Karleen Koen is a profoundly depressing gorgeously written epic historical fiction set in the beginning of the 18th century in England and France This story will rip your heart out so beware before you dive in When I was a child I spake as a child I understood as a child I thought as a childIn the beginning of this novel we meet fifteen year old Barbara Alderley the cherished grandchild of illustrious English nobility the Duke and Duchess of Tamworth She stubbornly sets out to become the bride of her grandfather's former military aide the dashing Roger Montgeoffry Earl Devane Though he is forty two years old and this would be a marriage of convenience at least on his part since he is coveting her dowry Barbara has been in love with him since she was a child A blind faithful arrogantly optimistic love that only a child can believe in I will MAKE him fall in love with me Barbara repeats as mantra to the concerned objections of her family What awaits her is naturally very different from her youthful and pure ideal of love For now we see through a glass darklyAs the novel takes us throughout the next five years of her life Barbara realizes that love which she thought was something concrete that she could hold in the palm of her hand and protect in the warmth of her body is nothing but an illusion a mere reflection on a mirror some murky and unattainable image that is almost impossible to decipher through the distortion of a polished surfaceThe novel is an illustration of the Bible verse from which its title is derived Corinthian 13 a passage that depicts the paradox of the necessity and importance of love without which life is nothing as well as its unattainable nature It is also a glorious and epic family saga involving a multitude of secondary characters each richly defined and interesting enough to follow along their distinctivesubplotsThe characters of the matriarchs of the Tamworth family the no nonsense dowager Duchess Alice and her irritatingly self righteous social parvenu daughter in law Abigail in particular were stellar The villains embodied by Barbara's flighty narcissistic mother Diana and the other unnamed due to spoiler character who is Barbara's principal nemesis and rival for Roger's affection are able to take you from the deepest loathing to the most poignant empathyThroughout it all the author has created one of the best portraits of life in the early 1700s in England and France including weaving a feminist narrative on the plight of women of the upper middle and lower classes without hammering your head with it as the author herself commented The portrayal of a France as corrupt and debauched as the last days of the Roman empire and an England on the brink of a financial crisis created by speculation insider trading and a bubble that is about to burst could not be relevant to our own contemporary times There is really so much to say about this book which has been unfairly and uite mistakenly referred to as a dressed up bodice ripper This was by far my favorite read of this year

  5. Chennijen Chennijen says:

    Have you ever come across one of those books in which the main protagonist starts out being beautiful brave intelligentin short all that is admirable in a personand then about 50 pages in said protagonist becomes the brattiest whiniest dumbest little kid you've had the misfortune of coming across in the last 20 books you've read? This is what happened to me with this book I read a summary of the work somewhere and thought that it aspired to be much than a trashy historical romance I WAS WRONG When Barbara threw a bizarro tantrum and developed an eating disorder because they wouldn't let her marry the object of her childish crush I wanted to throw the book at the wall And then stomp on it a few times once it hit the floor Instead I continued to read hoping that the ending would redeem the rest I want those hours back

  6. Susan Susan says:

    I read this first 20 years ago yes I am that old And I remembered it so fondly because I was in France at the time and this was one of the few novels in English that I read while I was there It was such a relaxing way to spend a day at the beach doubly so because all the rest of the time I was there I was having to work in my second language which I wasn't nearly so strong in So I reread it and it was a very different experience this time It's still a really fun and well written novel but I remember having a very different reaction to the heroine when I was younger than I did this time around Interesting how you change with age And I'd forgotton how compelling the grandmother was

  7. Emily Emily says:

    This was a surprisingly absorbing read I'm still a bit stressed so I've been binging on historical fiction I even ordered my first Heyer novels Koen's novel is sprightly told and competently researched It mixes historical figures into the narrative fairly well though they aren't nearly as captivating as the main characters or the actual historical figures they are based upon I'm debating between a two and a three star On one hand when I think on it it doesn't seems to be a particularly memorable book On the other I found it very hard to put down and couldn't wait to see how it ends I'm going with the higher score because I was absorbed while it lasted and found the ending moving Below are what I see as its pros and cons I've tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible Its characters are all flawed There are villains and heroes but they are presented a three dimensional and very human except for maybe the French characters I loved the depiction of the South Sea Bubble's rippling destruction through London society Maybe this is due to current events or just the fact I find it be an interesting historical event Well written female characters Much so than their male counterparts the female characters present a balance of realistic feisty characters who at the same time are being clearly shaped by the socialeconomiclegalrestrictions placed upon them This doesn't just apply to the upper class leads Barbara and her grandmother Alice who I think is the lead in the preuel but Barbara's maid Therese and to a lesser extent Diana's maid Clemmie were intriguing to follow Related to this the book focuses exclusively on the upper class with the only real exceptions being servants but it does a nice job outlining the hierarchy within that class fairly well While I knew where the plot was going for the first half the second half was a lovely surprise Tony's character arc The ending There's a dark secret for one of the characters The text dances around it Barbara is blind to it until the climax in the center of the book I don't think this is a spoiler since it is heavily heavily foreshadowed The problem is that it is pretty obvious what it is and connects to the other negative I'm stressed and tired so I'm just not going to think this much about it but I'm debating whether this is a bit of a homophobic conservative text The counterargument I keep telling myself is that all the characters are flawed so it is not as if its portraying straight characters as saints and that abortion was a messy dangerous procedure during the time so the lingering focus on its negative effects is supportable It does seem to negatively present anyone that enjoys sex without having a deep emotional connection to their partner Hyacinth Barbara's slave is an incredibly flat character His role is to be precious and cute Given the timeline the eual might flesh his character out For a text that has multiple female characters muse on how society oppresses them it was a little annoying to have such a positive portrayal of slavery A little because his treatment fit with the plot's logic there are several women mourning their childless state and see him as a way to fill the void The way he is used as an emotional crutch and toy for these women could have been an interesting way to explore the racialslavery issues that the novel ignoresNeither positive or negative It captures details of the eighteenth century but the narrative voice itself is very late twentieth century The depictions of smallpox and other fun diseases were detailed than I had expected They aren't the most graphic scenes but they were a vivid than I usually encounter in this genre Sex scenes seemed to be detailed for lust based couplings and euphemistic for the emotion based ones I found this a little weirdWill I read of her work in the future? I probably will I'm debating whether or not want to read the preuel or the seuel The backstory for this novel isn't that intriguing to me and while Alice is a delightful secondary character I'm not very excited about having her as the center of an entire book I am curious about the seuel but the publisher's description is rather dull

  8. Amy Bruno Amy Bruno says:

    This book had been on my TBR pile for uite some time before I plucked it off my shelf and boy am I glad that I did This is one of the books that when you read it you could just kick yourself in the shin for not reading it sooner I LOVE drama and this book did not disappointThrough a Glass Darkly is a novel about Barbara Alderley and is set in England and France in the early 18th century Barbara and her siblings were raised by her grandmother the Duchess of Tamworth Her mother Diana being too selfish and caught up in her own drama to worry about the children she bore and her father has just left the family taking the money with himWhen Barbara’s mother informs her that plans are in motion for Barbara to wed Roger Montgeoffrey she cannot contain herself to her mother’s surprise Roger was an old friend of her grandfather’s that she has been secretly in love with since she was younger What Barbara does not know is that she is part of a deal her mother has concoctedThe story goes on to follow Barbara as she moves to London and marries Roger She uickly grows up when surrounded by the deception and cruelty of the English and French courtsI really enjoyed this novel The characters were well developed and easy to like although they had their own faults but that’s what makes them real Koen paints a very pretty picture through her words and you as the reader feel like you are right there with Barbara through all of her ups and downs What was interesting to me was watching as Barbara tried to stay true to herself and her beliefs amidst the licentiousness of court The love between Barbara and Roger was beautifully written so much so that you could feel it in your heart One word of caution have plenty of tissues ready when you are near the end and if you do cry then do in a separate room as your husband or he will than likely make fun of you like mineBottom line I highly recommend this book to all historical fiction fansSong Torch by Alanis MorissetteFavorite linesWhen you can no longer taste the divine nectar of life when love no longer exists then life is deathNever run away from the truth because you carry it on your shoulder and someday it will put its ugly face into yours and say “Boo”Forgiveness It is never done well in little bits and dabs Do it all at once and never look back or do not do it at allChange is an easy thing to decide and a difficult thing to do It is the day to day struggle of it that defeats people Do not despair if old ways look good to you Despair only if you fall into them too oftenOverall 55

  9. Jenny Q Jenny Q says:

    The title comes from a Bible verse When I was a child I spake as a child I understood as a child I thought as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things For now we see through a glass darkly; but then face to face; now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known And now abideth faith hope charity these three; but the greatest of these is charity I Corinthians 1311 13And from this verse flows the essence of the story of Barbara a young woman with an open heart full of dreams and desires longing to please to love and be loved with a child's innocence who comes to know a woman's life and to be known as a woman amidst the heartache and bitterness of failed expectations personal tragedy and the duplicity and debauchery of the English and French courtsEngland 1715 Barbara is the sheltered granddaughter of the late Duke of Tamworth one of England's most famous military heroes With a traitorous father on the run and a scandalous uninterested mother Barbara and her siblings have been raised by their grandmother the Duchess an iron willed woman who strikes fear in the hearts of those who oppose her and will go to any lengths to aid those whom she loves Barbara is content to spend her days happy and carefree on her grandmother's secluded country estate until her money scheming mother arrives and plants the idea in her head that she could marry her childhood idol the dashing worldly and much older Roger Montgeoffrey Barbara latches on to that idea and moves to London spinning grand dreams of her future and enlisting her grandmother's help to see those dreams to fruition Though Barbara is young and unknowing in many ways she is aware from the beginning that Roger marries her out of respect for her grandfather and for the dowry she brings him but she is determined to make a place for herself in his life and in his heartRoger a rising investment star in the infamous South Sea Company has plans for his life and though Barbara is an unexpected and intriguing addition to that life he's not planning on making any significant changes As soon as they're married he and Barbara are off to France where Barbara makes her debut in society amidst a decadent and licentious French court In this world of sex and scandal Barbara is left to her own counsel and must choose how to conduct herself all the while striving to hold her husband's attention praying for him to return even a fraction of the love she feels for him And just when it seems she's about to get everything she wants tragedy strikes Barbara's family and Roger's hidden past sweeps into Paris And as he succumbs to the temptations of his dark secrets Barbara's life crumbles around her Attempting to pick up the pieces Barbara embarks on a journey of discovering who she is and who she wants to beThis book is one of those slow burners that takes its time to draw the reader into a sensuous world of compelling characters It is a beautifully written coming of age story love story and family saga rolled into one; a heart wrenching portrayal of emotions of the damage people can inflict upon each other; of human nature in every shade where nothing is black and white The outstanding cast of supporting characters adds dimension and layers to the story and the lushly depicted era of opulence political unrest and financial instability of England and France weaves a rich historical texture throughoutI loved every minute of this book and I cried my way through the last hundred pages Then after I got hold of myself I went right out to the library and picked up the seuel This is one of those books that kept me up late and then woke me in the middle of the night I could not stop thinking about it Definite Keeper Shelf Highly recommended to fans of emotionally charged character driven historical fiction

  10. Kelly Kelly says:

    Someone called this a bodice ripper in another review Hm I think that person needs to read an actual bodice ripper and then think again I read this on my honeymoon in 1995 It was a book I picked up by chance I remembered the huge advance Koen got and I am vey glad I did It's just a great read with interesting characters and great settings It's a book I will take on vacation for a reread

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