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This Glittering World Paperback – January 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A lackluster guy finds purpose in the pursuit of justice in Greenwood's slack latest (after The Hungry Season). When Ben Bailey, an adjunct history professor and part-time bartender mildly dissatisfied with his life and engagement to occasionally shrewish Sara, finds the badly beaten body of a young Native American on his lawn, he's driven to find out what happened. His quest takes on a new dimension once the young man dies and his death goes all but unnoticed. Ben soon meets the victim's sister, Shadi, and falls for her while they investigate her brother's murder, but by the time he tries to call off his engagement, Sara is pregnant and Ben is torn between the life that's being planned for him and the more adventurous one that he thinks he wants. Greenwood's Flagstaff, Ariz., is a convincing one, more so than the forced premise of Ben's sorrow binding him to Shadi, and while the plot manages a few surprises, Ben's too passive for a man on a mission. (Jan.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; 1 edition (January 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758250916
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758250919
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.8 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

T. Greenwood is the author of ten novels. She has received grants from the Sherwood Anderson Foundation, the Christopher Isherwood Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Maryland State Arts Council. TWO RIVERS was named 2009 Best General Fiction Book at the San Diego Book Awards, and GRACE received the same award for 2012. Five of her novels have been BookSense76/IndieBound picks; THIS GLITTERING WORLD was a January 2011 selection, and GRACE was a selection in April 2012. Her eighth novel, BODIES OF WATER, was a 2014 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist. WHERE I LOST HER will be released on February 23, 2016.

She teaches creative writing for San Diego Writer's Ink, Grossmont College, and online for The Writer's Center. She and her husband, Patrick, live in San Diego, CA with their two daughters. She is also an aspiring photographer.

More information on T. Greenwood can be found at her website: http://www.tgreenwood.com and her blogs: http://www.mermama.blogspot.com and http://www.ephemerafiles.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Writer Girl on January 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
One of the best books I've read all year. Ms. Greenwood expertly guides you through a tragic but gorgeously-crafted story filled with moral ambiguity, lust, rage, pain, and passion. Her language is fundamentally poetic, her imagery is crisp. My heart ached for all the characters involved and I simply could not put it down until I finished it.

The ending is the perfect apex to the plot, and while it may bother some readers, Ms. Greenwood shows her characters the respect of staying true to them and the experiences they lived through. This novel would be perfect for bookclub discussions.

I am a huge fan of this author, and I have to say, it is probably my favorite of hers so far. She just gets better and better. Don't miss it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on February 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
THIS GLITTERING WORLD is a story of love and loss, essentially a tale of the events surrounding one man's affair that spirals out of control and ties him circumstantially to a hate crime. Flagstaff is a typical college town where these crimes happen far too often across America, and yet this isn't simply about violence and consequence, division between race and economics. It is a book that focuses on complicated personal relationships more than on physical brutality, illustrating poignantly the battered psyche of a struggling couple who are just starting out and only want to be loved in a real, everyday sense.

T. Greenwood is an exceptional author who knows how to create complete people. Her characters are full, and their varied mindsets are frighteningly clear, especially in how easy and natural it seems for couples to be close and yet to be capable of causing the other continual and irreparable pain. Somehow they are unfortunate, unaware of the full impact of their choices, making the story impactful and lending great interest to readers who do not typically enjoy dramatized fiction.

There is much to consider in this fascinating tale about how we see ourselves and view our relationships, about how people out there seem to struggle and yet choose to stay with loved ones with whom they have virtually nothing in common. The book shows readers artfully how these strange and powerful dynamics can spill over on a larger scale and affect social attitudes. In the worst cases, they can even fuel hate crimes.

Ben Bailey is the protagonist here, an intelligent and complicated man in his late 20s or early 30s, a fine professor who has worked hard to climb the ladder but doesn't enjoy his job.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on December 31, 2010
Format: Paperback
Although engaged to optimistic strong willed Sara, adjunct history professor Ben Bailey has doubts that he wants to marry the sometimes termagant. When she is nice, which is most of the time, he knows he wants her; but when she is over the top he wants her out of his life. He muses while also tending bar over whether to marry or not to marry.

Ben finds a severely battered young Native American male nearly dead on his lawn in Flagstaff, Arizona. Not one to become passionate about anything, Ben feels an urge to know what happened to the lad. When Ricky Begay dies, Ben obsesses over the truth of what happened to him, especially when what seems an obvious murder appears to be ignored. His inquiry leads Ben to Ricky's sister Shadi. As they team up on the investigation into her sibling's homicide, he falls in love with Shadi, but Sara is carrying his child.

Ben's doubts about what he wants in life make for an engaging contemporary, but require a key acceptance by readers of the lead male's obsession with the beating death of Ricky leading him to a third choice. His revised musing is to marry pregnant Sara or to marry grieving Shadi. Readers will want to know whether Ben chooses responsibility (Sara) or adventure (Shadi) as he perceives his dueling relationships; he assumes both will want to wed him.

Harriet Klausner
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By April Plummer on February 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book, beautiful, soulful story, poetic prose. I cannot express enough what a talented author t. Greenwood is. I will have to buy the rest of her books as soon as possible. She has incredible insight to the human soul and spirit, and she understands the realities of life. Even her paragraphs of description, I found myself highlighting to remember the magical way she put words together to create a tragically real story with characters that will forever remain in my heart.
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Format: Paperback
A huge fan of T. Greenwood – everything she writes is at the TOP, with her expert writing style, plot planning, emotionally charged topics, and carefully developed characters.

A beautifully written story set in Flagstaff and Phoenix, AZ, about a tragedy of a young Navajo teen boy, Ricky, found dead in the snow the morning after Halloween by Ben. This death haunts Ben as he begins a search for answers surrounding this mystery, or hate crime--as this boy was a frequent diner, (non-drinker) at the bar/restaurant where Ben worked part time (part time history professor, as well). Not only does he question this meaningless death, he also questions his own life and choices.

Ben is living and engaged to Sara (not a likeable character) yet he becomes involved with Ricky’s sister, Shadi, a weaver, as they search for answers about Ricky’s death. Ben is a complex and flawed character and between Sara and Ben, they both are leading miserable unhappy lives. There are some areas about Ben’s life which are not disclosed (secrets and traumas) until later in the book which causes him to bond with Shadi over their shared loss. From bigotry, racism, frat boys, and politically connected wealthy parents are all a part of this dramatic storyline.

Having worked in the Arizona areas of Tucson, Phoenix, and Bisbee, loved the vivid setting with this gripping novel of lust, rage, pain, passion, loss, hate, love, forgiveness, and responsibility--how the choices we make affect our actions and others. Ideal for book clubs or discussions.

THIS GLITTERING WORLD has much depth with brilliant storytelling, twists and turns, filled with emotion, meaning, and purpose - as T. Greenwood’s other books-- nothing is as it seems.
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