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The Glass House: A Novel av Beatrice Colin

The Glass House: A Novel (utgåvan 2020)

av Beatrice Colin (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
215827,718 (3.36)Ingen/inga
Titel:The Glass House: A Novel
Författare:Beatrice Colin (Författare)
Info:Flatiron Books (2020), 272 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek


The Glass House: A Novel av Beatrice Colin



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Visar 5 av 5
Cicely Pick comes to Scotland along with her daughter, Kitty, in order to claim the grand Scottish estate owned by her husband's family. Cicely's husband is a biologist/explorer in India where Cicely has lived her entire life (she has Indian ancestors). When she arrives at Balmarra, she is met by her husband's sister, Antonia and her husband Malcolm who have lived and maintained the estate thinking they have inherited it. On the estate is a beautiful greenhouse referred to as the glass house. The father, Edward Pick, was into raising exotic plants as was such a thing in the late 19th century.

Cicely believes her trip will be smooth as she apparently has a letter stating that the estate has been willed to her husband. The plan is to sell the estate and provide money for Kitty's schooling and further explorations of her husband. Plans do not go well as the solicitor has a more recent will.

Cicely and Antonia are very wary of each other at first, Antonia's relationship with Malcolm has lost all it's glamour and Antonia has become "old" before her time. She feels a sort of jealousy toward Cicely but through many events, they learn a certain respect for each other. Antonia especially becomes close to Kitty.

The ending is a bit too pat. Overall an interesting story, but one that I could sort of take or leave. ( )
  maryreinert | Nov 26, 2020 |
1912. Scotland. India. Family strife. Mansion but no money. ( )
  bogopea | Oct 13, 2020 |
When Cecelia and her 12-year-old daughter arrive unannounced at Balmarra expecting that her husband has inherited the estate, it turns out more complicated than that. Set in Scotland on in a large home on an island, the author is adept at creating a sense of place and an interesting set of characters. While I enjoyed reading this book, I felt it was a little overly “adept” at creating a hurtle for every step forward. For example, when Cecilia and her daughter take plant samples from the Himalayas to the Royal Botanical Garden in hopes of getting a sponsor for her husband’s trek, the plant samples are put in a satchel and then forgotten on the train. This just seemed so contrived to me. The reason they were going to Glasgow was the plants. How did two people forget them on the train? And the ending? It fell flat in my view, as well as a little contrived. ( )
  brangwinn | Sep 23, 2020 |
The Glass House has great writing, an atmospheric setting, and complicated family and social dynamics, but these parts didn’t come together to create an engaging story.

Pacing is incredibly slow. In fact, so little happens during the entire first half of the book that it could’ve been condensed to about twenty-five pages. The second half of the book picks up, with a chaotic feel that lacks cohesion.

Kitty, Cicely’s young daughter, is the only character I found interesting. The men in this story are all jerks. Cicely and Antonia lack even the slightest spark in their personalities. They aren’t well developed, and I just didn’t find them all that interesting.

The story tries to incorporate racism as a thread woven throughout, but this doesn’t quite work. Cicely is a mixed raced woman from India, a country with an embedded caste system, and yet we never learn anything about Cicely’s place within that system or what it has meant as far as the trajectory of her life. When she arrives in Scotland, she experiences the kind of covert racism that shows itself in offhand remarks and barely concealed contemptuous stares, but this is inconsistent and almost fluff in the way it’s presented. I wanted to know more about the emotional effect on Cicely and Kitty. I also wanted a better sense of how Antonia felt about having a mixed race sister-in-law, as well as how she felt about the related town gossip.

In the end, the promised friendship between the two women never truly forms. I’m not even sure if there’s a point to it all, aside from ‘women need to stick together and men are awful.’

*I received a review copy from Flatiron Books, via NetGalley.* ( )
  Darcia | Sep 20, 2020 |
Scotland, 1912. Arriving from India, Cecily and her daughter meet Antonia for the first time. Cecily is married to her brother, a man who travels widely often looking for unknown plant and tree specimens. The seeds from the snow tree would be the ultimate prize. Not a cheap endevour, however, and he has sent his wife to claim, now that his father is dead, their family seat of Balmarra. Antonia and her husband, who have lived there since their marriage, do not know the real reason they have arrived.

I haven't read many books set in Scotland and some of the descriptions are gorgeous.

"The light was soft, diffuse, as if the sun itself had been wrapped in a white mourning veil. While fields of wheat whispered consolation to themselves, the hedgerows were filled with the bright shout of buttercups and champion, bluebells and cow parsley. Even in the shade the air was warm. It would be a good year for honey."

It was nice to get out if my own head and immerse myself in someone else's life. There are secrets here, friendship and women who grow and change throughout the story. A glass house used for plant specimens and during the course of the book, an unforgettable party. I liked both these young women, coming from different backgrounds but still eventually finding a common ground.

It is also about race and the way it is viewed. Cecily from India, with a Hindustan ancestor, is much darker than the lighter skinned Scotts. She is viewed as other and this will play heavily at story's end, which resolves quite surprisingly, though I thought it fitting.

This is the authors last book as she has passed due to Ovarian cancer. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jul 27, 2020 |
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