THE GLASS HEIRESS by Alice Dwyer-Joyce


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An improvement over previous Dwyer-Joyces, with the usual dollops of sugary Irish nostalgia but with a far more straightforward plot than usual: a rags-to-riches yarn, comfortable and reliable as old brogues. Ann Catherine Rohan, who narrates, is raised in a happy home at Derrycreevey--with boisterous doctor-father, gentle mother, nice Aunt Bessie, four siblings, and devoted retainers. But then a damaged roller-coaster at a seaside resort kills father, brothers, sisters, and a set of twins from the Cluny family next door. So, sorrowfully, penniless Ann and Mother and Aunt Bessie struggle to maintain Derryereevey, where sometimes Ann imagines ghostly children dancing--as they do when Mother joins them at her death. Then: an imperious summons comes from Ann's grandiose widowed Grandmother, known as ""the Czarina of all the Russias,"" who has really hit the skids after years of regal wealth; she's living with naughty-talking son Jamie and detested daughter Kate in a derelict former kennel. And so Aunt Bessie and Ann move in, scrub, and organize till the odd family is fairly shipshape, with Fergus Cluny and Ann discovering a bag of gold that will take care of Granny's household. Back, then, to Derrycreevey, still struggling to make ends meet. And as for romance? Well, doctor/ sailor Fergus proposes, but first he has a stint in the navy: he rescues a nun in darkest Africa, he suffers a spinal injury from gunshot, and once back home, his hopeless paralysis is miraculously reversed when Ann is drowning, having accidentally plunged into a stream. (Fergus ""was gone like an arrow. . . the power fully restored to him. . . and then Herself in his arms. . . ."") Tricked out with stagy shamrock sentiments--the kind of fluffy, preposterous romance favored by those who insist on that pot of gold at the end of every rainy day.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 1981
Publisher: St. Martin's