Today it’s my turn on House of Glass blog tour! I am extremely happy to be a stop on the blog tour for this fantastic book.
House of Glass is much more than a historical novel. It’s a gothic story full of mystery, with an extraordinary female character. Having feminist tones here and there and the possibility of the ghosts lurking in an old country house, it reminded me of Sarah Waters’s Little Stranger and Diane Setterfield’s Thirteenth Tale.
The heroine, Clara Waterfield is a young girl with a medical condition that left her crippled. Her bones are so fragile, she spent almost all her life indoors with the fear of injury. She is as if made of glass.
Osteogenesis imperfecta. Twenty-two letters which click in the mouth and which, at first, we tried slowly. My mother would whisper the name like a prayer or incantation. I, too, mouthed it privately. But this name was soon discarded and, in its place, it became Clara’s bones. I heard it in hospital rooms and corridors, and this more accessible, intimate name implied that it was my complaint alone. That there was no other person in London or elsewhere whose ribs fractured on sneezing.
After the loss of her mother, she starts working at Kew Gardens, and shortly after she travels to Gloucestershire to work in an stately home called Shadowbrook. The owner of the house, Mr Fox wants her to build a glass house with exotic plants. Mr Fox is a very mysterious person, he’s often away from the house and he acts like he is avoiding people. Adding to the mystery surrounding Mr Fox is the house itself. The previous family who owned the house seem to have a reputation in the village. The housekeeper Mrs Bale and the maids think there are ghosts in the house…Scratched doors, footsteps in the dark and other disturbances make Clara question the theory. She is a very strong-willed, witty and scientific woman, she doesn’t believe in ghosts and thinks an intruder is causing all these troubles.
The story flows beautifully with a surprising ending, and the air of mystery surrounding the house, Mr Fox, and Shadowbrooks’s previous owners keeps the reader engaged and entertained until the end. Everyone is hiding secrets…
I really enjoyed reading Clara, he contrast of her weak body and strong mind made her an unforgettable character. She questions everything she encounters and doesn’t stop thinking, keeping an open mind, not letting anyone her tell what to think or believe. She’s a woman beyond her time.
It’s also a wonderfully atmospheric novel, partly the reason why it reminded me of Little Stranger. The dialogue, descriptions, setting, perfectly reflects 1910’s.
House of Glass is a novel every historical novel lover should read. Fletcher’s language is so pure and beautiful , you will not regret meeting with Clara Waterfield.