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Today I review the stunning debut The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea. Thank you to Jenny Platt for my gifted copy which I received in exchange for an honest review.
💫 The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea
-Back of the Book
Iceland, 1686. The brutal, lava-scarred landscape can swallow a man without so much as a volcanic gasp.
Jón Eiríksson has just married his second wife in a year. But Rósa’s new home in the windswept village of Stykkishólmur is terrifyingly isolated – the villagers are suspicious of strangers and fearful of something which they will not name. What is her new husband terrible secret, and why does the spectre of his first wife Anna haunt them so?
Set against the backdrop of the seventeenth-century Icelandic witch trials, in a land governed by religion and fear, THE GLASS WOMAN is addictive, breathtaking, and perfect for readers of BURIAL RITES and THE ESSEX SERPENT.
About the Author
Caroline Lea grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Warwick, where she now teaches on the Creative Writing degree. Her fiction and poetry have been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize, the Fish Short Story Competition and various flash fiction prizes. She currently lives in Warwick with her two young children and is writing her next novel.
💫 Review by Kelly Lacey
The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea
I have been trying to tell as many people as I could about the book this week. But when I open with it is set in the 16th century in Iceland. I lost their interest. Which is what I did too when I was reading the book blurb. You hear that and you suddenly feel a heaviness. That it will be a difficult and long read. But that could not be further from the truth.
The book is so beautifully written in such a way that it is effortless to read. There is a lightness to the flow of the chapters. It is not burdened with unnecessary dialogue or long descriptive text. The author is not indulgent with her writing, we the reader get all the information we need. It was an absolute dream to read and so refreshing.
We join Rosa who is newly betrothed to Jon and must travel from the village she lives in with her poorly Mum to a new one with her husband. Who she doesn’t really know. But she knows her Mum will be looked after if she goes.
The landscape and weather of 16th century Iceland play a pivotal role in the story. Often mirroring Rosa’s feelings or state of mind. When we talk about authors making a location a character. That couldn’t be more apparent in The Glass Woman.
Rosa is isolated in her new dwelling. Jon often works away with his sidekick Petur. Left alone in her new home Rosa starts to try and make sense of her new life. The darkness around her, the isolation and then the noises coming from the attic above. Is she really alone?
Written mainly from the perspective of Rosa with sporadic chapters with the back story of Jon’s life. It intertwines the stories so creatively they come to life in one’s mind.
One thing that would have been helpful was to be told that there was a Glossary at the end of the book. I would have liked to use it when I was reading.
This atmospheric novel is divine. It brought my reading journey to a whole other level. I was hooked from chapter one. With memorable characters and an extremely important message. The Glass Woman should be on everyone’s TBR.
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