Skip to main content

Review: Cover the Mirrors, by Faye L. Booth

After her aunt dies and leaves her the family business, Molly Pinner becomes the only spiritualist in the town of Preston. Molly begins an affair with a local businessman named William Hamilton, eventually marrying him after she becomes pregnant. Her best friend, Jenny, also pregnant, moves in with the Hamiltons, but a rift comes between the two girls when Molly tries to get rid of the baby. Then a secret from Molly's past comes back to haunt her, and she find that lives are at stake, especially her own.

I liked the idea of this novel, but there were a lot of aspects about it that didn't live up to its promise. My biggest problem with the novel is its main character; Molly's not particularly compelling or someone that you find yourself rooting for. In fact, I found myself caring less and less for her as the story went on. Her relationship with William seemed to be based primarily on sex, and it seemed completely unrealistic to me that a mid-nineteenth century, semi-respectable girl like Molly would have sex with a man she barely knows in a public park. The nature of their relationship is strange, too: at first, William seems to be the controlling type, only out to marry her because of the business she owns (not extensive or lucrative, by what I could see), but immediately he breaks down and wants to sell his family business because he claims he's no good at running it. Then, inexplicably, he purchases a liquor factory.

Preston-a hygienic, 21st-century rendering of a poverty-ridden, 19th century town--didn't seem very real to me. Despite the title and the premise, there really wasn't much in the way of séances or spiritualism in this novel, and Molly seemed as though she could have cared less about the business, for all the control she wanted to hold over it. And all the good characters seem to come out alright in the end-despite their checkered pasts, both Jenny and Katy get second chances, and self-righteous Molly, who censors Lizzie for her mistakes, is somehow absolved of making nearly the same mistakes. It was an ending that was a little too neatly wrapped and tied, in my opinion.

That said, I do think this novel was well-researched. There was a lot of promise in this novel, and I really did want to like it, but ultimately this book didn't work for me. However, if you like books such as The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose, you may enjoy Cover the Mirrors. Despite my complaints about the novel, I'm given to understand that this is the author's first, and I'm willing to give her writing a second chance if she writes a second.


michellekae said…
Just the title of the book sounds interesting. Like Bloody Mary or something. I enjoyed your review and will probably give this novel a read out of curiosity. I love to read a book that people have not fallen in love with to either disagree or agree with what they had to say. Thanks!

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Forever Amber, by Kathleen Winsor

Pages: 972 Originally published: 1944 My edition: 2000 (Chicago Review Press) How I acquired my copy:, 2004

Forever Amber takes place in the 1660s, immediately follwing Charles II's ("the Merry Monarch") return of the Stuarts to the English throne. The book features Amber St. Claire, a young woman who starts out as a sixteen-year-old country girl, naieve to the workings of the world. She immediately meets Bruce Carlton, a dashing young Cavalier, with whom she has a passionate love affair in choppy intervals throughout the book. They have two children together, but Bruce won't marry her for the reason he tells his friend Lord Almsbury: that Amber just isn't the kind of woman one marries.

Upon following Bruce to London, he goes to Virginia, leaving her to fend for herself. What follows is a series of affairs and four marriages, with Bruce coming back from America now and then. Amber's marriages are imprudent: her first husband is a gambler, her second is…

Review: Jane Austen's Letters, ed. by Deirdre Le Faye

Pages: 667 Original date of publication: 2011 My copy: 2011 (Oxford University Press) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy:, April 2013
This is a compilation of many of Jane Austen’s letters, most of them sent to her sister Cassandra between 1796 and 1817, the year of her death. Although many of Austen’s letters were destroyed by her sister in order to preserve the family reputation, the collection contains over 160 letters in which Austen gives her sister details about her life in Chawton—as well as giving us a tantalizing glimpse of what was going through her mind as she was writing her novels (especially the novel that was to become Pride and Prejudice, First Impressions). There are other letters here, too, giving advice to her niece and professional correspondence to publishers—as well as a couple of letters that were written by Cassandra Austen after Jane’s death.
To the sisters, the letters acted in the way that phone calls do today; Austen’s news is all about pe…

Review: Midnight in Peking, by Paul French

Pages: 259 Original date of publication: 2013 My copy: 2013 (Penguin) Why I decided to read: How I acquired my copy: Phoenix bookstore, May 2013
In January 1937, the body of a young British girl, Pamela Werner, was found near Peking’s Fox Tower. Although two detectives, one British and the other Chinese, spent months on the case, the case was never solved completely, and the case was forgotten in the wake of the invasion of the Japanese. Frustrated, Pamela’s father, a former diplomat, tried to solve the crime. His investigation took him into the underbelly of Peking society and uncovered a secret that was worse than anything he could have imagined.
At first, I thought that this would be a pretty straightforward retelling of a true crime, but what Paul French (who spent seven years researching the story) reveals in this book is much more than that. Foreign society in Peking in the 1930s was stratified, with the British colonials at the top and the White Russian refugees at the bottom, but…