I loved this story! I was initially drawn to it by the book's title. The very name, The Pilgrim Glass, had me envisioning medieval cathedrals illuminated with the beautifully filtered light of stained glass, and it ignited my deep fascination for this intriguing period of history.
Julie K. Rose weaves a beautiful tale that combines mystery, intrigue, romance, deep, profound loss, and forgiveness. I was drawn to the characters because of their flaws and deep, personal wounds. They were real and I was able to relate to them because all of us know what it is like to hurt, really hurt. These characters will stay with me for a long, long time. When I finished the story I was reluctant to turn the last page because I didn't want to let go; I wanted to stay with them a little longer.
However, what really made this story click with me was the element of intrigue and medieval history. At various points in the story the author takes her readers back to medieval France, where they enjoy getting a real sense of that period in time and a glimpse into the life of the artist who created the pilgrim glass. The story behind the glass and the artist who created it is as compelling as it is heart wrenching, and it adds strength and depth to the overall story. What I really appreciate is that the author provides just enough detail to inform her readers and yet leaves enough to our imaginations to uphold the mystery of the glass.
Finally, I must say something about the setting. I've never been to France, and before I read this story, I had never heard of Vézelay or its great cathedral. But now, I want to go! Throughout the story, the author shows her readers the absolute beauty of this place. Julie K. Rose is a master of description. I wanted to be there, to feel the breeze and the warm sun on my skin, to see the beautiful old buildings, and climb the narrow cobblestone streets. With the author's superb way of "showing" I felt like I was almost there.
I'll say it again, I loved this story. I'm going to read it again someday. I look forward to the next Julie K. Rose book!