Fiction Maeve Binchy The Glass Lake

ISBN 13 : 9780752876870

The Glass Lake

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9780752876870: The Glass Lake
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Kit always thought that the Pope had been at her mother and father's wedding. There was this picture of him in their house—a different pope, a dead one—and the writing underneath said that Martin McMahon and Mary Helena Healy had prostrated themselves at his feet. It had never occurred to her to look for him in the wedding picture. Anyway, it was such an awful photograph. All those people in embarrassing coats and hats standing in a line. If she'd thought about it at all Kit might have assumed that the Pope had left before the picture was taken, got on the mail boat in Dun Laoghaire and gone back to Rome.

That's why it was such a shock when Mother Bernard explained that the Pope could never ever leave the Holy See; not even a war would make him leave the Vatican.

"But he went to weddings, didn't he?" Kit said.

"Only if they were in Rome." Mother Bernard knew it all.

"He was at my parents' wedding," Kit insisted.

Mother Bernard looked at the little McMahon girl, a mop of black curly hair and bright blue eyes. A great wall-climber, an organizer of much of the devilment that went on in the schoolyard, but not until now a fantasist.

"I don't think so, Katherine," the nun said, hoping to stop it there.

"But he was." Kit was stung. "They have a framed picture of him on the wall saying that he was there."

"That's the papal blessing, you eejit," said Clio. "Everyone has them . . . they're ten-a-penny."

"I'll thank you not to speak of the Holy Father in those terms, Cliona Kelly." Mother Bernard was most disapproving.

Neither Kit nor Clio listened to the details of the concordat that made the Pope an independent ruler of his own tiny state.

With her face down on the desk and hidden by the upright atlas Kit hissed abuse toward her best friend. "Don't you ever call me an eejit again, or you'll be sorry."

Clio was unrepentant. "Well, you are an eejit. The Pope coming to your parents' wedding, your parents of all people!"

"And why shouldn't he be at their wedding if he were let out?"

"Oh, I don't know."

Kit sensed something was not being said. "What would be wrong with their wedding, for example?"

Clio was avoiding the matter. "Shush, she's looking." She was right.

"What did I just say, Cliona Kelly?"

"You said that the Holy Father's name was Pacelli, Mother. That he was called that before he was called Pius the Twelfth."

Mother Bernard reluctantly agreed that this was what she had been saying.

"How did you know that?" Kit was full of admiration.

"Always listen with half your mind to something else," Clio said.

Clio was very blonde and tall. She was great at games, she was very quick in class. She had lovely long fair hair. Clio was Kit's best friend, and sometimes she hated her.
Clio's younger sister Anna often wanted to walk home with them but this was greatly discouraged.

"Go away, Anna. You're a pain in the bottom," Clio said.

"I'll tell Mam you said "bottom' out loud on the road," Anna said.

"Mam has better things to do than to listen to stupid tall tales. Go away."

"You just want to be fooling around and laughing with Kit . . ." Anna was stung by the harshness of her dismissal. "That's all you do all the time. I heard Mam say . . . I don't know what Clio and Kit are always skitting and laughing about."

That made them laugh even more. Arm in arm they ran off and left Anna, who had the bad luck to be seven and have no friends of her own.
There were so many things they could do on the way home from school.

That was the great thing about living in a place like Lough Glass. A small town on the edge of a big lake. It wasn't the biggest lake in Ireland but it was a very large one by any standards. You couldn't see across to the other side except on a clear day and it was full of little creeks and inlets. Parts of it were clogged up with reeds and rushes. They called it the Glass Lake, which wasn't a real translation. Lough Glass really meant the green lake, of course, all the children knew that. But sometimes it did look like a mirror.

They said that if you went out on Saint Agnes' Eve and looked in the lake at sunset you could see your future. Kit and Clio didn't go in for that kind of thing. The future? The future was tomorrow or the next day, and anyway there were always too many half-cracked girls and fellows, old ones nearly twenty, pushing each other out of the way to try to see. As if they could see anything except reflections of themselves and each other!

Sometimes on the way home from school Clio and Kit would call to McMahon's pharmacy to see Kit's father, with the hope of being offered a barley sugar from the jar. Or they would go to the wooden pier that jutted out into the lake to see the fishermen coming in with their catch. They might go up to the golf course and see if they could find any lost balls which they could sell to golfers.

They rarely went to each other's house. There was a danger attached to going home; it was a danger of being asked to do their homework. In order to keep this option as far away as possible the girls dallied on their way back from school.

There was never much to look at in the post office . . . the same things had been in the window for years, pictures of stamps, notices about post office savings stamps and books, the rates on letters going to America. They wouldn't delay long there. Mrs. Hanley's, the drapery shop, sometimes had nice Fair Isle sweaters and the occasional pair of shoes you might like. But Mrs. Hanley didn't like schoolgirls gathering around the window in case it put other people off. She would come out and shoo them away like hens.

"That's right. Off with you. Off with you," she would say, sweeping them ahead of her.

Then they would creep past Foley's bar with the sour smell of porter coming out, and on past Sullivan's garage, where old Mr. Sullivan might be drunk and shout at them, calling attention to their presence. This would be dangerous because McMahon's pharmacy was right across the road and someone would surely be alerted by the shouting. They could look in Wall's hardware in case there was anything exciting like a new sharp shears, or across the road in the Central Hotel, where you might see visitors coming out. That was if you were lucky. Usually you just saw Philip O'Brien's awful father glowering at everyone. There was the meat shop, which made them feel a bit sick. They could go into Dillon's and look at birthday cards and pretend they were going to buy, but the Dillons never let them read the comics or magazines.

Kit's mother would have found them a million things to do if they went home to McMahon's. She could show them how to make shortbread, and Rita the maid would watch too. She might get them to plant a window box, or show them how to take cuttings that would grow. The McMahons didn't have a proper garden like the Kellys did, only a yard at the back. But it was full of plants climbing out of barrels and up walls. Kit's mother showed them how to do calligraphy and write happy feast day for Mother Bernard. It was in lovely writing that looked as if a monk had done it. Mother Bernard still kept it in her prayer book. Or sometimes she would show them her collection of cigarette cards and the gifts she was going to get when she had a book filled with them.

But Clio often asked things like "What does your mother do all day that she has so much time to spend with us?" It seemed like a criticism.

As if Mother should be doing something more important like going out to tea with people the way Mrs. Kelly did. Kit didn't want to give Clio the chance to find fault, so she didn't often invite her home.

Where they liked to go best was to see Sister Madeleine, the hermit who lived in a very small cottage by the lake. Sister Madeleine had great fun being a hermit, because everyone worried about her and brought her food and firewood. No one could remember when she came to live in the old abandoned cottage at the water's edge. People were vague about what community Sister Madeleine had belonged to at one time, and why she had left.

But nobody doubted her saintliness.

Sister Madeleine saw only good in people and animals. Her bent figure was to be seen scattering crumbs for the birds, or stroking the most snarling and bad-tempered dog. She had a tame fox which came to lap up a saucer of bread and milk in the evenings, and she was rarely without splints to mend the broken wing of a bird she had found on her travels.

Father Baily and Mother Bernard, together with Brother Healy from the boys' school, had decided to make Sister Madeleine welcome rather than regard her with suspicion. As far as could be worked out she believed in the one true God, and did not object to the way any of them interpreted his will. She attended Mass quietly at the back of the church on Sundays, setting herself up as no rival pulpit.

Even Dr. Kelly, Clio's father, said that Sister Madeleine knew as much as he did about some things: childbirth, and how to console the dying. Kit's father, who ran the chemist's, said that in olden days she might have been thought a wisewoman or even a witch. She certainly knew how to make poultices and use the roots and berries that grew in abundance around her little home. She never spoke about other people so everyone knew that their secrets were safe.

"What will we bring her?" Kit asked. Nobody ever went to Sister Madeleine empty-handed.

"She always says not to be bringing her things." Clio was practical.

"Yes, she says that." Kit still thought they should bring something.

"If we went to your dad's chemist's he'd give us something."

"No, he might say we should go straight home," Kit said. That was a possibility they wouldn't risk. "We could pick some flowers."

Clio was doubtful. "Yeah, but isn't her place full of flowers?"

"I know!" Kit got a sudden inspiration. "Rita's making jam, we'll take a pot of it."

That would of course mean going home; Rita was the McMahons' maid. But the jam was cooling on the back window, they could just lift a pot of it. This seemed by far the safest way of getting a gift for Sister Madeleine the Hermit without having to run the gauntlet of a home interrogation.

The McMahons lived over the chemist's shop in the main street of Lough Glass. You could get in up the front stairs beside the shop, or else go around the back. There was nobody about when Kit slipped into the backyard and climbed the back steps—clothes were hanging on the line in the yard, but Rita wasn't in sight. Kit tiptoed to the window where the jams sat. They were in containers of every sort and shape. She took one of the more common jars, less likely to be missed.

With a shock she saw a figure through the window. Her mother was sitting at the table perfectly still. There was a faraway look on her face. She hadn't heard Kit, nor did she seem even aware of her surroundings. To Kit's dismay she saw that tears were falling down her mother's face and she wasn't even bothering to wipe them.

She moved quietly away.

Clio was waiting at the back. "Were you spotted?" she asked.

"No." Kit was short.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing's wrong. You always think something's wrong when nothing ever is."

"Do you know, Kit, you're becoming as bad a pain in the bottom as awful Anna is. God, you're lucky you haven't any sisters," Clio said with feeling.

"I have Emmet."

But they both knew Emmet was no problem. Emmet was a boy, and boys didn't hang around wanting to be part of your secrets. Emmet wouldn't be seen dead with girls. He went his own way, fought his own battles, which were many because he had a speech inpediment, and the other boys mimicked his stutter. "Emm-Emm-Emmemm-Emmet," they called him. Emmet always answered back. "At least I'm not the school dunce," he would say, or "At least I don't have the smell of pigs on my boots." The trouble was it took him a long time to say these telling things and his tormentors had often gone away.

"What's annoying you?" Clio persisted as they walked down the lane toward the lake.

"I suppose someone will marry you eventually, Clio. But it'll have to be someone very patient, maybe stone-deaf even." There was no way that Kit McMahon was going to let her best friend Clio worm out of her the fact that it had been very shocking to see her mother sitting crying like that.

Sister Madeleine was pleased to see them.

Her face was lined from walking in all weathers, her hair was hidden under a short dark veil. It was a cross between a veil and a head scarf really, you could see some gray hair at the front. Not like the nuns at school, who had no hair at all. It was all cut off and sold for wigs.

Sister Madeleine was very old. Kit and Clio didn't know exactly how old, but very old. She was older than their parents, they thought. Older than Mother Bernard. Fifty, or sixty or seventy, you wouldn't know. Clio had once asked her—they couldn't remember exactly what Sister Madeleine had said, but she certainly hadn't answered the question. She had a way of saying something else entirely, a little bit connected with what you had asked so that you didn't feel you had been rude, but it wasn't anywhere near telling you.

"A pot of jam," said Sister Madeleine with excitement, as if she were a child getting a bicycle as a surprise. "Isn't that the nicest thing we could have . . . will we all have tea?"

It was exciting having tea here, not boring like at home. There was an open fire and a kettle hanging on a hook. People had given Sister Madeleine little stoves and cookers in the past, but she had always passed them on to someone less fortunate. She managed to insult nobody by this recycling of gifts, but you knew that if you gave her anything for her own comfort like a rug or some cushions it would end up in the caravan of a traveling family or someone who needed it more.

The people of Lough Glass had got used to giving the hermit only what she could use in her own daily life.

The place was so simple and spare it was almost as if nobody lived there. No possessions, no pictures on the walls, only a cross made out of some simply carved wood. There were mugs, and a jug of milk that someone must have brought her during the day. There was a loaf of bread that had been baked by another friend. She cut slices and spread the jam as if it were a feast that she was preparing.

Clio and Kit had never enjoyed bread and jam like it before. Little ducks walked in the door in the sunlight; Sister Madeleine put down her plate so that they could pick at her crumbs. It was always peaceful there; even restless Clio didn't need to be jumping up and moving about.

"Tell me something you learned at school today. I love facts for my mind," Sister Madeleine said.

"We learned that Kit McMahon thought the Pope came to her mother and father's wedding," Clio said. Sister Madeleine never corrected anyone or told them that they were being harsh or cruel, but often people seemed to realize it themselves. Clio felt she had said the wrong thing. "Of course, it's a mistake anyone could make," she said grudgingly.
"Maybe one day the Pope will come to Ireland," Sister Madeleine said.

They assured her this could never happen. It was all to do with a treaty; the Pope had to promise to stay inside the Vatican and not to go out conquering Italy like popes used to do years ago. Sister Madeleine listened with every sign of believing them.

They told Sister Madeleine news about Lough Glass, about old Mr. Sullivan up at the gar...

Revue de presse :

THE GLASS LAKE is Maeve Binchy at her spellbinding best - you'll never want it to end (WOMAN'S JOURNAL)

Maeve Binchy really knows what makes women tick. She crystallises their hopes, dreams and passions in her novels and now she has done it again in THE GLASS LAKE ... a marvellous read (DAILY MIRROR)

She is one of the few writers who can pull at your heartstrings ... The author's great skill is to draw you into the world she creates, so that reading her books is like gossiping with old friends (DAILY EXPRESS)

Maeve Binchy's work continues to inspire ... thought-provoking, warm and funny in equal measure (Woman)

You can see why, for a legion of female readers, Maeve Binchy is a one-woman opiate of the people (Evening Standard)

Binchy is a consummate storyteller who involves the reader in the world she creates... Binchy is a Dickens: she writes about the dilemmas of human beings with a backdrop which describes the manners and morals of a society (IRISH TIMES)

Drama, humour, warmth and great characters - it's what we expect from Maeve Binchy, one of the world's best-loved writers (WOMAN'S WEEKLY)

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Maeve Binchy
Edité par Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom (1995)
ISBN 10 : 0752876872 ISBN 13 : 9780752876870
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 10
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Description du livre Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. État : New. 194 x 136 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A tangled, touching story of love, loss and misunderstanding from the No. 1 bestselling author. Kit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, where everyone knows everyone; children who walk to school together grow up and become sweethearts and marry, people gossip and grumble and dream their lives away. For it is a place where change comes slowly. Until one day, beautiful, mysterious Helen McMahon disappears, presumed drowned in the lake, and then the gossip runs wild. The consequences for Helen s husband, her son, but above all for her daughter, Kit, are unimaginable and will leave not one of their lives unchanged. N° de réf. du libraire AWC9780752876870

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Maeve Binchy
Edité par Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom (1995)
ISBN 10 : 0752876872 ISBN 13 : 9780752876870
Neuf(s) Paperback Quantité : 10
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(London, Royaume-Uni)
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Description du livre Orion Publishing Co, United Kingdom, 1995. Paperback. État : New. 194 x 136 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. A tangled, touching story of love, loss and misunderstanding from the No. 1 bestselling author. Kit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, where everyone knows everyone; children who walk to school together grow up and become sweethearts and marry, people gossip and grumble and dream their lives away. For it is a place where change comes slowly. Until one day, beautiful, mysterious Helen McMahon disappears, presumed drowned in the lake, and then the gossip runs wild. The consequences for Helen s husband, her son, but above all for her daughter, Kit, are unimaginable and will leave not one of their lives unchanged. N° de réf. du libraire AWC9780752876870

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Maeve Binchy
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Description du livre Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), 2005. Paperback. État : Brand New. 704 pages. 7.76x5.08x1.77 inches. In Stock. N° de réf. du libraire zk0752876872

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Maeve Binchy
Edité par Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ) (1995)
ISBN 10 : 0752876872 ISBN 13 : 9780752876870
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Description du livre Orion (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd ), 1995. Paperback. État : New. book. N° de réf. du libraire 0752876872

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Maeve Binchy
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Description du livre 1995-06-05., 1995. État : New. Orion. New edition. Paperback. Book: VERY GOOD. 704pp. . N° de réf. du libraire NF-1136681

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ISBN 10 : 0752876872 ISBN 13 : 9780752876870
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Description du livre 1995-06-05., 1995. État : New. Orion. New Ed. Paperback. Book: GOOD. 704pp. . N° de réf. du libraire NF-1727079

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Description du livre 1995. Paperback. État : New. 129mm x 197mm x 45mm. Paperback. Kit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, where everyone knows everyone; children who walk to school together grow up and become sweethearts and marry, people gossip and gr.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 704 pages. 0.485. N° de réf. du libraire 9780752876870

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Maeve Binchy
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Description du livre 1995. Paperback. État : New. 129mm x 197mm x 45mm. Paperback. Kit McMahon lives in the small Irish town of Lough Glass, where everyone knows everyone; children who walk to school together grow up and become sweethearts and marry, people .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 704 pages. 0.485. N° de réf. du libraire 9780752876870

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