Hey everyone! I was lucky enough to be asked to take part in a blog tour for an absolutely brilliant new book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading! With only two days before the official publication, here are my thoughts on The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea!
I can’t wait for people to get their hands on this book! Here you can find my review of the book as well as all of its details and a little more about the author! What more could you want?!
Jón Eiríksson buried one wife this year. But how long can his secrets remain hidden?
1686, Iceland. A wild, isolated landscape that can swallow a man without so much as a volcanic gasp, where superstitious Icelanders are haunted by all-too-recent memories of witch trials.
Rósa is leaving her home in Skalholt. Betrothed unexpectedly to the mysterious and wealthy Jón Eiríksson, Rósa travels with her new husband to his isolated, windswept village of Stykkisholmur. Here, the villagers are suspicious of outsiders, and seem fearful of Rósa.
Whispers follow Jón around the unexplained death of his first wife, who he buried in secret in the dead of night. And Rósa has her own suspicions. Refusing to answer any questions about his first wife, Jón instead gives Rósa a small glass figurine, a glass woman.
Rósa feels a presence in the house, and she can’t shake a dread that darkness is coming. She fears she will be the next victim.
How long before the glass woman shatters?
This book follows Rósa as she prepares to leave her familiar, small-town life behind to become the wife of a powerful landowner, far away from home. What awaits her is a village full of whispers and cold stares, and being confined to her new croft leaves Rósa feeling more alone than before. Her new husband’s tight grip and firm commands are enough to chill her but then she starts to hear noises from the locked room above.
When the email came through about this book, it grabbed me straight away. The cover is absolutely gorgeous and I loved the historical aspect of the story. If you were a fan of Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale, then you’d feel right at home in the icy setting, laced with Old Magic in a time when Christianity ruled. The description of the setting was so brilliant that I could feel the chill of the frigid weather, see the inside of the croft and vividly imagine the movements that the author describes. The way that Rósa reacts when her husband touches her, the hostile hum that spreads amongst the villagers – all make this story so immersive that it felt almost real. Such is the work of a brilliant storyteller.
The ending was the most special part of the book for me. As a sucker for romance, my heart ached for Jón in a way that I didn’t think it would at the start of the story. Similarly, I found myself reading ever quicker to see if Rósa would get the ending that she deserved. The last few pages, written from Jón’s point of view, is what really haunted me. His sacrifice in the name of love was something that I continued to think about as it seemed so out of character for the tough, potentially violent and manipulative man he is written as initially. This is what I loved most about this book as the characters are so well written and rounded that we are able to see growth. Jón’s softness becomes more apparent and we also watch as Rósa’s inner strength really begins to shine through as she matures emotionally.
This book also jumps back and forth time-wise to give us a glimpse into the future for the characters before going back to fill in the gaps. Personally, I really liked this aspect as it intrigued me and made me want to keep reading to find out what happened. This is also the case with the symbolism in this story. The presence of the glass woman charm being woven into Rósa’s inner thoughts, eventually coming to represent her, I thought was really interesting as it really showcases the growth of the main character perfectly.
As for what I didn’t like about this book, there isn’t much. The point that we leave Rósa at the end of the story has me hoping for a sequel just to see what happens next for her. This is particularly because we see her grow so strong over the course of the book that I am sure that the remainder of her life would not be quiet!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! From the immersive historical setting and the expertly rounded characters to the twists and turns in the plot which really kept me guessing, the effect of the narrative was haunting and has meant that I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
Caroline Lea grew up in Jersey and gained a First in English Literature & Creative Writing from Warwick University. From there, Caroline became a teacher of English and Drama and was Head of English at a Birmingham boys’ grammar school. She now works and writes from home in Warwick, and is a mother to two young boys. This is her first novel published in the UK.
You can check out the thoughts of some other wonderful book bloggers on this book throughout the rest of The Glass Woman blog tour!
Are you looking forward to reading this book? I’d love to know your thoughts on it! You can always find me over on Instagram and Twitter if you’d like to discuss this book (or any others that I’ve featured) in more detail 😌