Saturday, 24 February 2007

My Glass Heart by Karen Gillece

My Glass Heart
Karen Gillece
Hodder Headline Ireland €??

SAILING out of the shops, Karen Gillece’s new novel is a haunting mix of literary thriller and pink chicklit.

Helen Glass is the ladylike proprietor of Dublin florist Joy Flowers, nicely married, beautiful – but perhaps just a tad bored.

Is it this or social conscience that presses her to give a chance to a kid just out of jail? That’s one of the questions in the mind of the Capote-like narrator, playwright Reuben, who's battening on Helen’s story for his comeback.

Helen’s social project turns out to be a smooth-talking liar, then a stalker who comes after her with his serrated knife.

Everyone – as always with Gillece – has secrets. Reuben has been nasty to his dying lover. Helen’s husband was bullied at school. Helen hides her hots for the rough-trade lad helping her sort her blossoms.

Even the person who lands Stalker-Boy on her is astonished to find Helen didn’t actually know he had a violent past and, well, made things up.

My Glass Heart suffers from its pompous narrator – it’s a story about someone telling a story for much of the narrative. But it’s totally vindicated by the gripping closing pages.

No comments: