The Glass Woman: A Review

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The Glass Woman centers around a woman named Rósa, who will do whatever it takes to make sure that her mother is taken care of, including marrying a man she hardly knows. While this book was recently written and taken place in the 1600’s, I felt as though it was written well before our time. The Glass Woman reads as though it is a book of classic literature, and I believe the writing and story elements in this book are so powerful that it will end up becoming a classic itself.

Lea wrote this book in such a vivid way; I could see everything I was reading. I felt immersed in the world that she created. I could see Rósa and Jón’s house hidden away, high above the town. I could see the piles of snow and the mysterious loft that Rósa was never allowed to visit. I could see the hanging dried fish, Rosa’s hands kneading the dough upon the counter, and the faces of those in the town upon hearing the shocking news of what really happened to Anna, Jón’s first wife.

When Rósa leaves her familiar town to go live with her new husband, she is frightened, lost, and is struggling to get used to her new path. Jón makes it clear that he does not want her to leave the house because she needs to stay to clean, cook, and make sure everything is in order. Also, he thinks the town is full of gossip and wants her to avoid the people in it at all costs. In addiction, does not allow her to read or to write, because doing so would point to her practicing witchcraft.

Jón stays out late with his friend Pétur, leaving Rósa all alone at the house, which she believes is haunted due to the strange noises she hears in the loft above. She feels completely lonely, and that eventually leads her to wander off into the town so she can feel some kind of connection, since there is no connection between her and her husband. She makes her visits secret, telling her newest friend to protect her and not speak of her presence in the town. Meanwhile, Rósa hears gossip from the townspeople about the manner in which Jón’s previous wife, Anna, died, and Rósa begins to wonder if she is in danger.

While Jón was written to be a villainous character, the chapters switch and are shown through his point of view, and I began to care for the man who many saw as stiff and heartless. How can one tell this is good writing? My opinion of the character entirely shifted by the end of the book. At first I hated him, but by the final page all I wanted to do was embrace him.

This book is flowing with beautifully written prose that warms the heart and challenges the mind. I highly recommend this book to all of those who love classic literature, historical fiction, and books that have an original plot line.

Release Date: September 3rd, 2019

Publisher: HarperCollins

Our Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Special thank you to Netgalley and HarperCollins for the ARC.