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Cover the Mirrors by Faye L. Booth
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Cover the Mirrors (2007)

by Faye L. Booth

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I'm not entirely sure how this book ended up in my TBR stack; I suppose it caught my eye when looking for historical fiction at one point or another. It was pure romantic fluff though; harmless enough but lacking in depth, genuinely interesting characters or any sort of complexity in plot. ( )
  mari_reads | Sep 29, 2012 |
It is 1856 and when Molly Pinner inherits her late aunt Florries mantle as Prestons most successful medium, she soon realizes that her aunt was not a magnet for spirits, but a clever con artist. Molly soon puts her qualms aside and takes well to her new trade. However, Molly finds herself battling an increasing sense of shame over her burgeoning sexualityover which she has less control than the so-called spirits she conjures for her credulous clients. Molly and William Hamilton, a successful businessman, embark on a passionate affair, and Mollys friendship with her oldest friend Jenny is destroyed when it transpires that William owns the mill where Jenny works. Molly soon finds herself married to a man she does not truly love, and pregnant with a child she does not want.

My Thoughts:

This book had so much going for it and could have delivered a lot more. I was instantly drawn to this book, firstly because of the spiritulism and secondly because of it being set in the victorian era. I was really disappointed with the book as it lacked atmosphere and the author could have delved deeper into the victorian way of life.

However, the story was ok and for most of the book I was enjoying it but the end part of the book badly lets it down. Events take a turn at the end of the book and I was left feeling that it was rather silly. At one point I thought I may have been reading a childrens book only there were very mid sex scenes.

A lot more could have helped this book become what it could have been. I think if you want victorain gothic then there atre better books out there. Hence I have to be mean with my rating. ( )
  tina1969 | Aug 13, 2012 |
The story starts with Florrie Pinner teaching her niece Molly about her take on Spiritualism, Molly takes to the task and when Florrie dies she takes charge.

However things start to unravel when she finds herself quite quickly pregnant, despite the warning of a friend doing the same and being abandoned by the father, and the warnings of her aunt to keep independent, she marries.

Yes, the characters are interesting but I really didn't care about many of them and several of them appeared to die more to tie up loose ends than anything else. I also really didn't get a solid sense of place from the story or any real feeling that Molly learnt anything other than to be as selfish as possible. ( )
1 vote wyvernfriend | Jul 18, 2009 |
I was so gripped by this that I actually read it all in one go despite the fact it was late and I had work in the morning. Set in the 1850s, the story centres around a girl who inherits her aunt's job as a medium, and it's her emotions and reactions that make the story so interesting. Marriage, sex and pregnancy are described in a realistic and unsentimental way without glossing over any of the unsavoury details -- a refreshing change from the idealism and superficiality of most romance novels. The heroine is strong-willed and passionate without seeming out of place for her time, and each character is a realistic, well-crafted mix of flaws and virtues with believable motivations and reactions. I highly recommend this book! ( )
  curiositykate | May 22, 2009 |
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 this one. 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. ( )
2 vote Kasthu | Nov 11, 2008 |
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Epigraph
Thy sould shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, shall pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

—Edgar Allan Poe, 'Spirits of the Dead' (1829)
Ghost: the outward and visible sign of an inward fear.

— Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1906)
Dedication
To Debbie,
who has endured more of my
first-novel musings, test-runs and angst
than anyone should ever have to.
First words
Molly was fifteen when she began working with the dead.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330460870, Paperback)

It is 1856 and Spiritualism is at the height of its popularity. Molly Pinner has left behind her childhood in the Preston slums and inherited her late aunt Florrie’s mantle as Preston’s most successful medium. It soon becomes clear that her aunt was something far more cunning than a magnet for the spirits of the dead, but Molly puts aside her qualms and takes well to her new trade. Molly’s relationship with her oldest friend, Jenny, is jeopardized when she begins a passionate affair with local businessman William Hamilton. Before she knows it, Molly finds herself married to a man she cannot love and pregnant with a child she does not want. In desperation, she makes a decision that will cast her relationship with William in a completely new light. Trapped and traumatized and longing to regain her friendship with Jenny, Molly is about to receive a blow that will turn her life upside down. It seems Aunt Florrie lied about more than just her ability to commune with the dead—a truth hidden for years is about to emerge, and it will threaten not only Molly’s livelihood, but her very life. Cover the Mirrors is a dark and zesty historical novel of distorted truths and suppressed Victorian desires.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:38 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

It is 1856 and when Molly Pinner inherits her late Aunt Florrie's mantle as Preston's most successful medium, she soon realises that her aunt was not a magnet for spirits, but a clever con-artist. But young Molly soon puts her qualms aside and takes well to her new trade.… (more)

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