Karen White does it again. Her latest book, The Sound of Glass, brought together endearing characters with mysterious stories and had me wishing I had nothing on my agenda except reading the entire book in one sitting.
The story opens in 1955 with a plane crash, battered wife (Edith), and misplaced suitcase. We jump ahead to 2014 to another battered wife (Merritt) and a stepmother 5 years Merritt’s senior (Loralee). All of their stories collide in an old house in Beaufort, SC.
White allows us to spend most of our time with Merritt and Loralee as their relationship grows thanks to Loralee’s persistent love. We learn early in the story Loralee is dying and she plans to make every moment last; for her stepdaughter and her son.
No doubt about it, Merritt’s life has been rough. Her mother died at a young age. Her father remarried someone barely old enough to babysit her. Her abusive husband died after 7 years of marriage. When she inherits the house in Beaufort, her plan is to move into it and start a new life. Alone.
Loralee shows up with Merritt’s 10-year-old stepbrother with one purpose: forge a relationship with Merritt so she will raise her stepbrother when Loralee dies. Upon meeting Merritt, Loralee decides she’s also going to bring life back into the young woman’s life.
Loralee reminds me of a woman who sits in the middle seat on an airplane even though she has the aisle seat free. I want to look out the window and be alone for the duration of the flight from LA to NYC. Yet, she won’t stop talking.
Somewhere over the midwest I realize what she’s sharing is worth hearing, but I can’t let her know yet. So, I keep looking out the window. Then, somewhere about the time I cross into Eastern Standard Time, I can’t believe my luck that I got to meet this woman. Her wisdom and kindness have turned a long flight into a life-changing moment.
It’s with the trepidation we feel at the beginning of said life-changing flight that we dive into a story full of stubbornness, mystery, and eventual triumph. You’ll cry. You’ll laugh. And you’ll enjoy a touching story.