Author: Caroline Lea
Genre: Historical Fiction
Book Description: 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.
Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Review: The Glass Woman is an extremely surprising read for me. I did not know exactly what I was getting into. I had recently finished Burial Rites by Hannah Kent. I loved that book so much. I thought another book set in Iceland in the 19th century, I am in. This book was just as atmospheric as Burial Rites, which I loved.
One thing I don’t do is read much reviews or book previews, before I dive into a book. I want to form my own opinion. The one thing I kept thinking as I read this, that this feels a lot like Jane Eyre, which happens to be one my favorite books. Low and behold, when I read the description, I see it being compared to that very book. Glad I was not totally off base here.
This book centers in the later 1800’s around Rosa and Jon. Jon is recently widowed, is a successful farmer and wants to marry Rosa. Reluctantly Rosa agrees to marry him, to make sure her mother is taken care of. When Rosa moves in with her husband, she quickly realizes things are amiss. There are spaces that Jon asks her not to go into, he reluctantly makes love to her. Quickly rumors start swirling and Rosa starts hearing strange noises that are driving her crazy. The story quickly progresses from there.
The first 1/3 of this book is very slow, but it does take a turn and becomes so fast paced, I could bare keep up. I really enjoyed this one. If you like Jane Eyre and Burial Rites than this book is definitely for you.
Thank you NetGalley and Harper for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.