The Glass Woman

Caroline Lea. Harper, $27.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-293510-6
Lovely prose and the lulling feel of escape into another time and place help to balance the slow pace of this story of 1686 Iceland from Lea (When the Sky Fell Apart), in which religion has replaced witchcraft, and a young woman teeters between the Church and pagan beliefs. At 25, Rosa agrees to marry a surly bear of a man, Jon Eiriksson, the “bonoi,” or community leader, of a nearby settlement. Jon collects taxes from his village, and Rosa knows he will provide for her ailing mother. Rosa travels for four days from Skalholt to Stykkisholmur to live with Jon in an Icelandic turf house perched above a seaside village, where the inhabitants fear Jon and gossip suspiciously about his first wife Anna’s death from a mysterious illness. Rosa is isolated when Jon works his farmland or fishes at sea, and because she wonders if Anna may have died from loneliness, Rosa dares to go against Jon’s wishes to seek companionship with the locals in Stykkisholmur, but she makes few friends. Mystery and potential danger linger throughout as the story builds to the reveal of what happened to Anna, but the escalation is so gradual that it’s near excruciating. Still, with its dreamy prose, Lea’s novel will satisfy readers who wish to be submerged in the ways of an old world. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 07/02/2019
Release date: 09/01/2019
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-4059-3462-6
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-4059-3461-9
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-7181-8898-6
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-0-7181-8897-9
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-06-293512-0
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