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The Glass House: Book summary and reviews of The Glass House by Beatrice Colin

The Glass House

by Beatrice Colin

The Glass House by Beatrice Colin X
The Glass House by Beatrice Colin
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  • Published Sep 2020
    272 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

Beatrice Colin's The Glass House is a gorgeously transporting novel filled with turn-of-the-century detail and lush blooms, about two women from vastly different worlds.

Scotland, 1912. Antonia McCulloch's life hasn't gone the way she planned. She and her husband, Malcolm, have drifted apart; her burgeoning art career came to nothing; and when she looks in the mirror, she sees disappointment. But at least she will always have Balmarra, her family's grand Scottish estate, and its exquisite glass house, filled with exotic plants that can take her far away.

When her estranged brother's wife, Cicely Pick, arrives unannounced, with her young daughter and enough trunks to last the summer, Antonia is instantly suspicious. What besides an inheritance dispute could have brought her glamorous sister-in-law all the way from India? Still, Cicely introduces excitement and intrigue into Antonia's life, and, as they get to know one another, Antonia realizes that Cicely has her own burdens to bear. Slowly, a fragile friendship grows between them. But when the secrets each are keeping become too explosive to conceal, the truth threatens their uneasy balance and the course of their entire lives.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A]lluring... Colin's lyrical depictions of early-20th-century India and Scotland provide an immersive view of the characters' experiences, particularly in Cicely's view of damp, dank Glasgow after arriving from India...and family secrets add to the intrigue over the inheritance of Balmarra. Colin's final work is a fine achievement." - Publishers Weekly

"Descriptions of the world beyond Balmarra, including lush Eastern landscapes and the rare subjects of botanical quests and obsessions, are complemented by eloquent descriptions of the beauty of the Scottish countryside and coastline...Colin's meandering tale has room for surprises, suspense, and soul-searching in its journey toward a cinematic conclusion." - Kirkus Reviews

"Colin's lovely storytelling conveys the stark reality of women's lives in the post-Victorian era. While vastly different in personality and temperament, Antonia and Cicely are similarly pigeonholed into roles not of their choosing, but the result of decisions made by the men in their lives. For fans of historical and women's fiction." - Library Journal

This information about The Glass House was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Beatrice Colin Author Biography

Beatrice Colin was a novelist based in Glasgow. The Glimmer Palace (2008), a novel set in Berlin in the early 20th century, was translated into eight languages, was a Richard and Judy pick, and was short-listed for several major awards. Colin also wrote radio plays and adaptations for BBC Radio 4.

Other books by Beatrice Colin at BookBrowse
  • To Capture What We Cannot Keep jacket
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