The Glass Woman: Book summary and reviews of The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea

The Glass Woman

by Caroline Lea

The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea X
The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2019
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

In the tradition of Jane Eyre and Rebecca, comes The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea, in which a young woman follows her new husband to his remote home on the Icelandic coast in the 1680s, where she faces dark secrets surrounding the death of his first wife amidst a foreboding landscape and the superstitions of the local villagers.

Rósa has always dreamed of living a simple life alongside her Mamma in their remote village in Iceland, where she prays to the Christian God aloud during the day, whispering enchantments to the old gods alone at night. But after her father dies abruptly and her Mamma becomes ill, Rósa marries herself off to a visiting trader in exchange for a dowry, despite rumors of mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife's death.

Rósa follows her new husband, Jón, across the treacherous countryside to his remote home near the sea. There Jón works the field during the day, expecting Rósa to maintain their house in his absence with the deference of a good Christian wife. What Rósa did not anticipate was the fierce loneliness she would feel in her new home, where Jón forbids her from interacting with the locals in the nearby settlement and barely speaks to her himself.

Seclusion from the outside world isn't the only troubling aspect of her new life—Rósa is also forbidden from going into Jón's attic. When Rósa begins to hear strange noises from upstairs, she turns to the local woman in an attempt to find solace. But the villager's words are even more troubling—confirming many of the rumors about Jón's first wife, Anna, including that he buried her body alone in the middle of the night.

Rósa's isolation begins to play tricks on her mind: What—or who—is in the attic? What happened to Anna? Was she mad, a witch, or just a victim of Jón's ruthless nature? And when Jón is brutally maimed in an accident a series of events are set in motion that will force Rósa to choose between obedience and defiance—with her own survival and the safety of the ones she loves hanging in the balance.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Lea uses an unusual setting to good effect, amplifying the impact of both an alluring but hostile landscape and a closed society on a vulnerable young woman...A haunting novel delivers chills." - Kirkus Reviews

"[T]he escalation is so gradual that it's near excruciating. Still, with its dreamy prose, Lea's novel will satisfy readers who wish to be submerged in the ways of an old world." - Publishers Weekly

"Lea crafts deeply intriguing characters while bringing to life their harsh landscape. Full of emotion, mystery, and suspense, this unique love story will keep readers guessing until the very end." - Booklist

"The eerie opening brilliantly sets the scene for a suspenseful read. A tremor cracks open an ice floe and an arm appears, plunging the reader into a harsh landscape and a world of suspicions and secrets." - Sunday Express (UK)

"Intensely written and atmospheric, with an unusual setting, this is a stark evocation of a community where fear of the outsider is rife and unsettling." - Daily Mail, UK

"[A] compelling, atmospheric novel" - The Sunday Times, UK

"Crackles with tension. Moving and atmospheric, I couldn't put it down." - Laura Purcell, author of The Silent Companions and The Corset

"Memorable and compelling. A novel about what haunts us—and what should." - Sarah Moss, author of Ghost Wall

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Author Information

Caroline Lea

Caroline Lea was born and raised in Jersey in the United Kingdom. The Glass Woman is her second novel. She lives in Warwick, England.

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