Good morning everyone!
I am so excited to be on the blog tour for Caroline Lea’s debut UK novel, The Glass Woman.
1686, ICELAND. 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 talk of it. Instead he gives her a small glass figurine. She does not know what it signifies.
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 . . .
Official blurb for The Glass Woman
I am a huge fan of neo-historical novels, especially ones that fall into the historiographical metafictional genre. I find that I am more drawn in by a novel that can transport you to back in time, whilst at the same time adhering to the knowledge of that era.
The Glass Woman is set in 1686, Iceland. From the very first page, Lea sets the scene which personifies the characters in the story. A landscape haunted by the recent past that defied fact and exploited fiction- the witch trials. With this in mind, the story follows a dark tale of secrets, mystery, and death.
Rósa, the protagonist, is a very likable character. If you put yourself in her shoes, it’s very easy into fall in the trap of comparing her life against a contemporary standpoint, However, Lea is clever as by writing The Glass Woman in the third person, Rósa is kept at arms-length which leads the narrative. The reader is then able to second-guess every character whilst at the same time, getting swept up in a historical narrative. Third-person stories give the overall impression of an unbiased narrative where the reader can fall into the mystery, being kept in the dark just as much as the characters are in the book.
Lea is a very inventive and intelligent author as she creates a historic story in a contemporary perspective. We are able to read about Rósa’s tale and get involved in a world lost to history long ago. I have learned a lot about the customs and culture of that time by reading this book, but it is not overloaded with facts and statistics. Instead, it is full of such strong imagery that completely took over my mind.
As always, my reviews don’t contain any spoilers, but what I will say is things are not always as they seem. As the story goes on, the reader is led by their suspicions, creating tension. I was so eager to get to the end but I really didn’t want to finish this book- I wanted more!
A supernatural spell-binding tale full of magic, love, and wonder.
Anyone who is a fan of A. S. Byatt, Margaret Atwood, and Jane Harris will love this book by Caroline Lea. I would say this book is… An enigmatic window into the past covered in a think blanket of a haunting memory which becomes the backdrop to an unsolved mystery and the dark secrets of human nature.
I thoroughly loved this book can cannot wait to see what else Lea has in store for us!
How to get your hands on a copy:
Thank you to Jenny at Penguin Random House for my proof copy and place on the blog tour!
Make sure you check out the rest of the tour (see below!).
Happy reading! Lx