Iceland. 17th century. After the death of her father, Rosa has to make a good marriage to help her impoverished mother. When the stranger Jon comes to her village looking for a new wife, only a few months after the death of his first spouse Anna, Rosa agrees to the marriage. After a three-day-ride to her new home, Rosa discovers the villagers are afraid of Jon and that there’s some mystery around Anna’s death. Why did Jon burry her on his own in the middle of the night? And what are the strange noises coming from the loft, that Rosa is forbidden to enter?
Nearing the end of year, I think I can say that this novel will be one of my favorite reads of 2020. The glass woman is a gothic romance novel reminiscent of Rebecca and Jane Eyre. It’s about a young woman that marries an older widower she barely knows anything about. Once married, he seems to hide a lot from her, not in the least the true fate of her predecessor. It all sounds very familiar.
But Lea writes her own gothic story in a unique setting. The hardships of Iceland, a rough and cold land. A country where religion is rising, but people still believe in the old myths and sagas.
Rosa is her own woman and has a strong character. I admire her strength. But she’s not perfect and makes mistakes. And that’s maybe what I loved the most about this book: all the characters are extremely human.
Until halfway the tension is built. You can’t trust anyone and have no clue what the hell is going on. It surprised me that the story took a turn when you get to read from Jon’s perspective. Suddenly you start seeing things in a different light. I couldn’t stop reading until I reached the end.
I loved the ending. It was fulfilling in a way that all my questions were answered. The glass woman is highly recommended for everyone who loves a gothic story or just wants to try something different.