Friday, August 14, 2009

Prince Rupert's Teardrops by Lisa Glass

Mary could never have been expected to guess what was to come, because there was no precursor, no warning, nothing indicative of a change.

Prince Rupert's Teardrops
Author: Lisa Glass
ISBN: 9781906120153
Publisher: Two Ravens Press/2009
Pages: 217

Mary 58, lives with her 94-year-old mother Meghranoush, who is a seamstress. Mary is taken for a mental case by most people and is on an enforced medical leave from work. She has fights with her mother, who speaks English mixed with Armenian. Meghranoush is a survivor of the Armenian genocide by the Turkish army which took place in the eary twentieth century. Hence her memories are interlaced with those horrifying times.

One day Mary's mother disappears. And Mary can't go to the police as she is taken for a nutcase. Her biggest fear is that, everyone would think she killed her own mother. So it's on Mary to find her. She finds glass birds, her mother's thimble and so many small clues and suddenly knows the worst.

Meanwhile, there is this serial killer, who specialises on killing elderly people. He is a glass blower, who burns the bodies in his furnace and uses those ashes to colour the vases he makes. He too has some childhood issues.

In her search, we get to dig into Mary's mind, her complex thoughts, her confused state and her relationship with her mother. Mary might be 58 but she needs her mother. She knows she has to take revenge if something happens to her. We also get to know about the killer's way of thinking and Meghranoush's terrifying memories. While we are inside Mary's mind, it at times gets difficult to differentiate the real from the imaginary. We too understand Mary's compulsions in finding the killer. And how the genocide which took place long ago, has power to get hold of one's entire being.

The suspense is maintained throughout, the finish is befitting and Mary finds her peace. Expecially what I liked about this book is the surreal aspect and usage of really beautiful words. Each page has something new for us. Initially Mary does seem weird but she does endear herself in the end. It is not a book for everyone but those who like good prose, a sustainable suspense and like to delve the minds, I would recommend it highly. A mystery worth reading.

Added this bit after Kathy's comment:

The drops of melted glass are known as Prince Rupert's drops. With high temperature those can cause grave hurt, if not handled carefully.

As explained in the book:

"that wee curvy bit of glass may be called Rupert, but she is a female, definitely a female, and she's ticking time bomb just waiting to go off."


bermudaonion said...

The book sounds interesting, but I can't figure out what the title means from the description.

Staci said...

Sounds like a really intriguing story!!!

Cackleberry Homestead said...

Sounds very interesting, great find!

Jo-Jo said...

This sounds really good...I sometimes wonder how people come up with these ideas like using peoples bodies to color the vases. So imaginitive! Thanks for the find.

Ti said...

This one sounds really dark. I typically like dark but "mental illness" dark freaks me out a bit. I guess stories about missing elderly sort of freak me out too. LOL.

I'm curious about the title too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling us about the title. I love sound of it.

Leslie said...

ooo this sounds good!

Melissa O. said...

This sounds very intriguing--thank you for bringing it to my attention!

Book Dragon said...

Sounds like an amazing book. I guess if a body can give a specific red to ceramics, why not glass?

thanks for stopping by :-)

Framed said...

It does sound dark but I could probably overlook that because it is so well-written. Besides I love the cover art. Sounds like one more for the list.

Blodeuedd said...

This sounds like a really interesting find. I will keep a lookout for it