Today I’m delighted to share with you my review of the atmospheric The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea as part of the blog tour for this fantastic debut novel. Thank you to Jenny Platt and Michael Joseph Books for giving me the opportunity to read and review this beautifully written book.
About the book:
An isolated, windswept land haunted by witch trials and steeped in the ancient sagas . . .
Betrothed unexpectedly to Jón Eiríksson, Rósa is sent to join her new husband in the remote village of Stykkishólmur. Here, the villagers are wary of outsiders.
But Rósa harbours her own suspicions. Her husband buried his first wife alone in the dead of night. He will not speak of it.
The villagers mistrust them both. Dark threats are whispered. There is an evil here – Rósa can feel it. Is it her husband, the villagers – or the land itself?
Alone and far from home, Rósa sees the darkness coming.
She fears she will be its next victim . . .
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.
The Glass Woman is a dark, atmospheric novel set in 1686 Iceland. To help keep her sick mother alive, Rosa has married a much older widower, who has taken her to live far away from home. The loneliness and isolation Rosa feels as the second wife of Jon Eiriksson, whose first wife Anna died under mysterious circumstances, is palpable. You feel her rising sense of dread and horror as she slowly tries to come to terms with this new way of life, and the strange noises that she hears coming from the loft, a room her new husband has forbidden her to enter.
This is the perfect book to read on a cold winter night, as you can almost feel the biting cold of Iceland as Caroline Lea brings this strange and dark tale vividly to life. It drew me in from the very first page and I was desperate to find out the truth behind Anna’s death and what it was that was causing the strange, creepy noises from above Rosa’s head as she slept.
I loved the slow, chilling way the story unfolded, as Rosa began to fear for her own life with each passing day. The story is told mainly from Rosa’s point of view, but this is intertwined with another voice that tells the tale from a different perspective at a slightly later time. I found this a little jarring at first, but did feel it added to the sense of mystery and suspense as we continued to move through the book.
The character of Rosa captured my imagination from the outset, and I was willing her to have the happy ending I so wanted for her. A rich, dark and beautifully woven tale that kept me turning the pages long into the night. Highly recommended.
The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea is available to buy now: Amazon UK