Robert Levy’s The Glittering World is a dark, fantastical story set in a remote Canadian town. Michael “Blue” Whitley is a young chef trying to keep his restaurant afloat. Having fallen afoul of a loan shark, Blue and his friends travel to Starling Cove to sell his Grandmother’s house as quickly as possible. It’s supposed to be a quick trip, but Blue soon uncovers a mystery stretching back to his forgotten childhood, a mystery that soon traps him and all of his friends.
Elisa is one of Blue’s oldest friends. She and her husband are there partially for moral support and partly as a vacation. She and Blue share a deep friendship and a history from their younger partying days, but she’s keeping a secret from both of them, a secret that will have major consequences before the end. The final member of the group is Gabe, one of Blue’s employees. Significantly younger than the others, he seems to have fallen under Blue’s spell like Elisa before him. There are undercurrents of tensions and feeling between these four friends that are slowly teased out over the course of the novel. The story is split into four sections one for each character’s point of view. It is an effective, if occasionally frustrating technique. Once the perspective shifts it never returns. That allows for a series of shifts in understanding and revelations, but it also obscures. Blue is the central character of the story, but after the first part he appears only in glimpses. He is a cypher, perhaps deliberately.
Starling Cove itself is a fascinating creation filled with mystics, philosophers, old hippies, and the remnants of an artist’s colony. It is a town with buried secrets and old legends about the Other Kind. Levy gives the Other Kind a depth and a lyrical sense of history and strangeness.
The Glittering World is a wonderful debut. Levy shows a dark and beautiful world within the world and puts his own twist on Fairy legends and changelings that are both recognizable and strange. The characters are compellingly conceived, although they ultimately feel less connected than they might have. Enjoyable and definitely worth reading.
The Glittering World can be found here on Amazon.
Received a Copy From NetGalley For Review