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The Parting Glass Hardcover – March 5, 2019
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"Read The Parting Glass for its rich tapestry of 1830s lower Manhattan, where the stately drawing rooms of wealthy WASPs on Washington Square are sustained by the cheap labour drawn from the tenements nearby. Or read it as a fascinating study of immigration and social class, race and ethnicity, religion and sexuality in early New York. Or as the tale of Maire O'Farrell and her twin brother Seanin, fresh off the boat, who help each other lie to get work in a wealthy household—until they both fall in love with the daughter of the house. Or read it as a tragedy of lies and a triumph of love, or a delicious subversion of the marriage plot. But read it." -- Nicola Griffith, author of Hild and So Lucky
“Knotted thickly with secrets both fervid and calculating, to read The Parting Glass is to enter a jungle of passions and lies. Immaculately researched and gorgeously written, this book is noteworthy for its grasp of the agony caused by hiding cracks in the human heart. A thoughtful, lyrical, sensuous, moving tour-de-force.” -- Lyndsay Faye, author of Jane Steele
"Delectable....Guadagnino’s story of the sumptuous world of the privileged and the precarious, difficult environs of the immigrant working poor is highlighted by vibrant characters and a well-paced plot, which will pull readers into the tangled tale." , Publishers Weekly
“Set in nineteenth-century New York, Guadagnino's erotically charged debut novel is packed with intrigue, confessions, and betrayal. Fans of Tracy Chevalier's Remarkable Creatures (2009) and Anthony Doerr's All the Light We Cannot See (2014) will be impressed by Guadagnino's vivid portrayal of female companionship and the blurred boundaries of friendship, love, and something deeper. Exploring class mobility and identity, The Parting Glass is an impressive debut.”
“The slow unfolding of Maire’s story is well-done as Guadagnino reveals details morsel by morsel…The careful explanations of life in the Walden house are well-drawn, and anyone who has watched Downton Abbey will feel right at home…Guadagnino should be commended for tackling a much-ignored piece of our past and giving voice to those who didn’t have one in 1837.”, Historical Novels Reviews
“Well-researched historical details lend authenticity to Guadagnino’s captivating work, right down to the diction of the dialog. The limited opportunities afforded to women and immigrants by society colors this tale of passion and lies, which will appeal especially to fans of Sarah Waters.”, Library Journal
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I will be watching for future efforts from Ms Guadagnino.
This was a story of love...between an Irish brother and sister…and a shared love of an English heiress. But this was also a story where social class and racism were a part of everyday life…where Nativists and the Know Nothing party spread hatred and incited violence against immigrants and Catholics. It was not a time for a forbidden love to flourish, especially those harboring life altering secrets.
Gina Marie Guadagnino effectively captured this NYC time period of diversity, politics, violence, corruption…and made it into a very captivating read.