The Glass House

Beatrice Colin. Flatiron, $26.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-250-15250-3
Late Scottish writer Colin (To Capture What We Cannot Keep) highlights bonds between women in this alluring tale. In the summer of 1912, Cicely Pick and her eight-year-old daughter, Kitty, travel from their home in Darjeeling, India, to Balmarra House, near the village of Cove in Scotland, to visit Antonia, the sister of Cicely’s botanist husband George. Cicely has been tasked by George with confirming George’s inheritance of Balmarra. Though Antonia had no prior notice of her sister-in-law’s arrival and her husband voices his uncertainty that Cicely is George’s wife, Antonia warms to Cicely until she discovers Cicely’s purpose in coming to Balmarra is to claim the estate for her own family and sell it out from under Antonia. When Cicely becomes ill, Antonia cares for Kitty and helps enroll her in school. Meanwhile, Cicely considers staying in Scotland, as her marriage to George has been soured by his infidelity and his fruitless botanical expeditions. 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 (“The city smelled of coffee grounds underlined by the faint whiff of drains”), and family secrets add to the intrigue over the inheritance of Balmarra. Colin’s final work is a fine achievement. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/24/2020
Release date: 09/15/2020
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 429 pages - 978-1-4328-8412-3
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