The Glass Lake Summary
Maeve Binchy

Everything you need to understand or teach The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy.

  • The Glass Lake Summary & Study Guide
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The Glass Lake Summary

Binchy orchestrates themes much the way a composer orchestrates a symphony. Within the first few pages of the novel, she tells the reader that Lough Glass translates as "the green lake," but people call it "the glass lake" because there are times when it resembles a mirror. Town folklore claims that those who look into the lake at sunset on St. Agnes' Eve will see the future. Realists claim that the lake reveals nothing "except reflections of themselves and each other."

This allusion to John Keats's poem "The Eve of St. Agnes" (1819) sets up the theme of ideal romance that the novel explores. Layered within and around the social concerns, this theme is examined in the lives of several characters. Each character creates a variation or repetition of the general theme.

Helen McMahon abandons a comfortable but loveless marriage to pursue a man who discarded her thirteen years...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

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