Michèle Roberts: The Looking Glass

(2250 words)
  • Julie Mellor (Sheffield Hallam University)

Set in France in the early 1900s, The Looking Glass is narrated by five women, all linked by their various relations to the poet Gérard Colbert. Geneviève is the central female character and the opening section of the novel shows her looking back on her time at Blessetot where she was employed as a maid by Madame Patin. Her yearning for the sea at Blessetot is punctured by nightmares warning her to stay away. She is haunted by a ghost resembling a drowned body, possibly her own: “[h]er eyes were open and staring, her face bruised and bloated. Black ribbons of seaweed draped her shoulders. Water streamed from the sodden rags of her dress. I had not managed to kill her after all” (2).

Geneviève has been brought up …

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Mellor, Julie. "The Looking Glass". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 December 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=10500, accessed 28 September 2016.]