The Glass Woman

The Glass Woman

A Novel

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:

Shortlisted for the Historical Writers Association Debut Crown Award

In the tradition of Jane Eyre and Rebecca--The Glass Woman by Caroline Lea in which a young woman follows her new husband to his remote home on the Icelandic coast in the 1680s, where she faces dark secrets surrounding the death of his first wife amidst a foreboding landscape and the superstitions of the local villagers.

"Gripped me in a cold fist. Beautiful." --Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton

"An Icelandic Jane Eyre." --Sunday Times, London

Rósa has always dreamed of living a simple life alongside her Mamma in their remote village in Iceland, where she prays to the Christian God aloud during the day, whispering enchantments to the old gods alone at night. But after her father dies abruptly and her Mamma becomes ill, Rósa marries herself off to a visiting trader in exchange for a dowry, despite rumors of mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife's death.

Rósa follows her new husband, Jón, across the treacherous countryside to his remote home near the sea. There Jón works the field during the day, expecting Rósa to maintain their house in his absence with the deference of a good Christian wife. What Rósa did not anticipate was the fierce loneliness she would feel in her new home, where Jón forbids her from interacting with the locals in the nearby settlement and barely speaks to her himself.

Seclusion from the outside world isn't the only troubling aspect of her new life--Rósa is also forbidden from going into Jón's attic. When Rósa begins to hear strange noises from upstairs, she turns to the local woman in an attempt to find solace. But the villager's words are even more troubling--confirming many of the rumors about Jón's first wife, Anna, including that he buried her body alone in the middle of the night.

Rósa's isolation begins to play tricks on her mind: What--or who--is in the attic? What happened to Anna? Was she mad, a witch, or just a victim of Jón's ruthless nature? And when Jón is brutally maimed in an accident a series of events are set in motion that will force Rósa to choose between obedience and defiance--with her own survival and the safety of the ones she loves hanging in the balance.

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2019
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9780062935106
Branch Call Number: LEA
Characteristics: 392 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 31, 2019

A story happening a long time ago and far away, but human nature is still the same. Religion is used as a tool for power. a man over the community and a husband over his wife. that is a sad commentary on religion.

RomanceAddict Sep 07, 2019

Review excerpt: "TW: This book contains the graphic depiction of a rape.

'The Glass Woman' by Caroline Lea is billed a Gothic mystery set in 1686 in Iceland that has shades of Jane Eyre to it. It’s about the dangers of rumors, and how they can poison a community. It’s wonderfully atmospheric and creepy…at least at first. About two-thirds of the way through the book, 'The Glass Woman' shifts from a traditional Gothic to something more like historical fiction, and I found that once all the mysteries were revealed, I was no longer as engaged in the story."

May 19, 2019

Perhaps the best book I have read this year. Full of foreboding, the story takes place in 1686 Iceland. Though it is dark, it is a real page turner. I was totally transported to another world, the wild, cold , windswept hamlet in Iceland. Highly recommended.

This was a great read! There is plenty of foreboding, atmosphere, tension and sinister elements inside. It comes to a taut and tension-filled end too. I also shed a tear at the end, it was a beautiful ending, but I won't say for whom I shed the tears for, it might give too much away.

Apr 02, 2019

This is a beautiful book - literally. The cover design is lovely, depicting the cold beauty of Iceland, breathtakingly invoked by Lea. A fairy tale crossed with a thriller, its like The Girl Before with a bit of Jane Eyre thrown in. As in the Tove Janson thriller, The True Deceiver, a village is closed in by snow, with terrible consequence. What is in the loft? What happened to Jon's first wife, Anna? Although I found the ending ultimately disappointing, this is well written - someone gets a happy ending, just not the one I wanted.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Arapahoe Libraries

To Top