Family dynamics, Fiction, Ozick-Cynthia

#660 Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick Heir to the Glimmering World by Cynthia Ozick

Rose’s father always told her that her mother died when she was born, but Rose has one or two memories that say otherwise. Rose is sent to live with her cousin, Bertram, who isn’t really her cousin. Her father was never very interested in Rose and always was more interested in the fact that her mother had died. While Rose is staying with Betram she finds some things out about her father that make her both a little sad and a little indifferent.

Rose is eventually told she has to leave Bertram’s house. She finds a position with a family called Mittweiser. She’s not entirely sure what she’s supposed to be doing there. Sometimes she helps take care of the mother. Sometimes she helps take care of the youngest child. Sometimes she helps the professor in his study. The family is quite strange. The father appears to be sponsored by some benevolent person in his studies, but Rose has not met this person yet; the mother doesn’t like him.

The sponsor finally shows up and there’s quite a strange connection between him and Rose’s father. The man is running from his past and has found some sort of comfort in maintaining the Mittweiser family.

Events continue to transpire in the story. Rose always appears to be in the middle of things, but yet always on the outside, as if she never really belongs anywhere.

What I liked

I’ve been working on this book a while, here and there. I think it’s interesting in a sad way. I think the entire thing is sad. We get to peer into the sadness of an entire group of people. It’s just crazy enough to make things interesting.

What I didn’t like

This book is sad, not boo-hoo cry sad, but just sad. All the characters are sad in their own way, but we’re all sad in our own way. This book tends to be more sadness than happiness. The family is put in a sad situation and rescued by a sad man. They’re served by a sad girl, and later, another sad man. Everyone has something to be depressed about in this story.

Rose is our narrator, but I wouldn’t go quite as far as to say she’s the main character. She has her own stories, that’s true, but the action is more centered on those around her. She’s not exciting. She doesn’t jump out. She’s overshadowed by everyone else, but that’s not to say this hasn’t been done before or that it’s revolutionary; it’s just not my favorite way of reading a story.

It’s sad to run away from your past so hard that it ultimately destroys you even though you’re trying to live beyond that past.


Don’t be that side person.

Weigh In

Do you think it’s sad to run away from your past all the time?

Do you think it’s sad to always be that person on the side that people don’t really notice?


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