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Literature / The Glimpse

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The Glimpse is the first book of a Young Adult duology by British author Claire Merle published in 2012. It's sequel, the Fall, was published in 2013.

Set in dystopian 2041 England, the Glimpse tells the story of Ana Barber, a privileged teenager who grew up thinking that she was "Pure", that is to say without any genetic disposition to mental illness, in a world where "Crazies" and "Sleepers" are second-class citizens. When it turns out that her DNA test was faked, she is only allowed to stay in her Community thanks to an engagement to wealthy Jasper Taurell.


When Jasper disappears and a sect is suspected, she sneaks out of her Community and into the unsafe City to find him herself, despite the threat of the Crazies who live there.

This book includes examples of:

  • Crapsaccharine World and Crapsack World: the story takes place after England went through an economic depression & petrol wars. If you're one of the Pures, your life inside a gated Community isn't that bad. However if you are part of the 25% of the population inclined to mental illness, you're condemned to living in a rundown inner London plagued by misery, with a short life expectancy.
  • Driven to Suicide: especially horrible since we're talking about a child here. It's a side effect of his medication.
  • Go Among Mad People: Ana does it twice, first by leaving her Community, then by entering an asylum to find Jasper. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
  • Love Triangle: between Ana, Jasper and Cole
  • Missing Mom: her suspicions about her mother's death lead to Ana discovering that she is predisposed to mental illness and, as such, should not be allowed to live her privileged life.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: The wealthy, influential & wholesome Jasper versus poor, dark and troubled Cole.
  • You're Not My Father: Ana feels like this after she gets a taste of how the mentally ill are treated, knowing that her father played a big role in their segregation.

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