The Glass House

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 May 2020

Member Reviews

I have read so many good reviews on this book so when given an ARC I was desperate to dive in. Sadly I have been left disappointed.

After managing to force myself to get to 40% I had to throw in the towel and give up. There are way too many books out there to spend time reading one that doesn't pique my interest.

Although well written with well detailed characters it just didnt do anything for me apart from leave me frustrated.

Super slow burning to start but starts to build up eventually. 

1.5*

Thanks to netgalley and Penguin UK for the ARC.
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I loved this book. Very well written and holds you in suspense to the very last page.

Rita is the Nanny to the Harrington family. Mum, Dad, Teddy and Hera and a new baby on the way. But whose baby is it? Then tragedy strikes and the family minus dad are sent to their other house in the woods. Then a baby is found but within three days there is a dead body. Whose is it and who did it?

Years later and the truth is about to be revealed but with what consequences?
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I really enjoyed this book!  A great story line that kept me hooked and excellent main characters.  I would highly recommend this book.
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My thanks to Penguin UK - Michael Joseph and NetGalley for my ARC of The Glass House. I had previously enjoyed Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase and looked forward to reading this. I was disappointed. It is certainly well written if you don't mind a metaphor riddled narrative. Two time lines, decades apart, seems to be de-rigueur nowadays with so many story lines. And three narrators - Rita, Hera and Sophie - with threads that intertwine and relationships are eventually uncovered. Other reviewers have obviously enjoyed the book more than me as I struggled to finish The Glass House.
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Slow, suspenseful and with plenty of twists - The Glass House tells the story of two families and how their past and present intertwine in the strangest of ways. I thought the novel started off a tad slowly but it definitely picked up and was worth the slow start. I thought the characters were well rounded and I particularly liked Rita, she was a compelling narrator and I liked that she blossomed despite the adversity. I also enjoyed the fact that I didn't predict some of the twists, and the novel kept me on my toes, so to speak. Overall, a great mystery thriller with good character work.
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A family ripped apart by trauma spend the summer in a country house in the Forest of Dean - the mother Jeannie, two children and their Nanny Rita. Then they find a baby on a tree stump - is she enough to draw the family together again before the summer ends and they return to London to be reunited with the Father? Running alongside this we have Silvie in the present day. Newly separated from her husband with her mother in hospital she is struggling to hold her life together.
I really enjoyed the bulk of this book but there were a small number of things towards the end which were a step too far. However, sometimes as a reader you just have to accept some things which are slightly unlikely in order to complete the story.
The book is well written with three dimensional characters. Jeannie was particularly well written with her slow removal of herself from the world as she slid further into depression. Rita was a great character - so full of life and determination to do her best for the children whilst struggling not to take the place of their disintegrating Mother. In fact, I think i preferred the past setting as opposed to the modern day thread.
On the whole a good read with some great descriptions & characters.
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley
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The story centres in the Forest of Dean in 1971 where the Harrington family of mum, Jeannie and 2 children (minus the father) and their Nanny, ‘Big Rita’ have decamped for Summer after a fire damages their stylish London home. Jeannie has just lost a much anticipated baby at birth, then spent  8 weeks away from her children at ‘The Lawns’ to recover; sent by her domineering husband .

We move to present day and London where Sylvie, a make-up artist has just left her husband and is trying to start a new life without losing contact with her 18 year old daughter, Annie. Her life is turned upside down when her mother has a near fatal accident when cliff walking with Annie.

The forest is an ever-present living entity, both backdrop and cocoon to family strife, secrets and uncomfortable relationships. Rita is forced to ‘report’ on Jeannie to her husband; Jeannie is unable to be a practical mother and Rita holds things together for the 2 children, Hera and Teddy. Their fragile existence is rocked when Don, Walter’s best friend and ‘intrepid traveller’ arrives, to spice things up.

The stories become linked. You learn of further relationships, secrets, an abandoned baby, a pregnancy and a murder. All very mysterious and astonishing threads pull the story together. A real wintery-afternoon-by-the-fire page turner! I do have to say that some of the later co-incidences are huge, so you do have to leave belief at the door a bit (a lot – hence loss of 1 star), but I still really enjoyed this book – read, escape and enjoy!
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Can we start with the cover? It’s absolutely beautiful and definitely caught my eye!

Then the story....oh wow this story! The Glass House left me speechless at times. Incredibly well written with complex characters and a fantastic plot. All I ask for from a book but The Glass House excelled.
5/5
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#TheGlassHouse #NetGalley 
Mind blowing historical mystery. No one can write like Eve Chase.
The Harrington family takes her in and disbelief quickly turns to joy. They're grieving a terrible tragedy of their own and the beautiful baby fills them with hope, lighting up the house's dark, dusty corners. Desperate not to lose her to the authorities, they keep her secret, suspended in a blissful summer world where normal rules of behaviour - and the law - don't seem to apply. But within days a body will lie dead in the grounds. And their dreams of a perfect family will shatter like glass. 
Years later, the truth will need to be put back together again, piece by piece 
Outside a remote manor house in an idyllic wood, a baby girl is found. 
Read it and find your all answers. Its a complete package of entertainment.
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK, Michael Joseph for giving me an advance copy.
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An absolutely beautiful book. This story is woven so delicately with threads of love, deceit, anger, heartache, secrets, joy and many other imperfections of life. The characters are wonderfully developed and all the little pieces of the puzzle come together nicely at the end. For me this book is stunning.
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Two threads in different timelines intertwine in this richly written book: a summer in the 70s, when Rita’s job nannying for the wealthy Harrington family finds her staying with them in an old house deep in the Forest of Dean after a fire ravaged their London home soon after the still-birth of a daughter; and present day, when newly separated Sylvie is trying to cope after her mother had a serious accident. Rita’s story is the most intriguing,  but as it develops you begin to understand how the two are tied together. The overall story was compelling and intriguing, too, but I did find all the ends tied up a bit too neatly for comfort. I loved Rita’s character, though,  and the rich descriptions of the almost suffocating atmosphere of the forest.
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** spoiler alert ** Rita and Sylvie ate the two things that keep this story together.
Both strong and wilful,but so incredibly likeable.
The story takes some turns that at times seem a bit over the top,but all in all,the family drama aspect of it was good.
Thrilled all loose ends were tied up,and I could close the last page,satisfied with all the answers.
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I was going to give up at around 20%, so glad I didn't.
After a slow start, I was drawn into the world of Baby Forest, the dysfunctional Harrington family, and Big Rita (as someone who is tall, with large feet, I felt for her) 
And in the present day, Sylvie and her daughter Annie. 
But most of all, the forest, a character in its own right.
Their stories intertwined slowly, with several "Oh" moments, and damp eyes in a few places, to come to a very satisfying conclusion.
Thanks to Netgalley and Penguin UK Michael Joseph for the opportunity to read this book.
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At the beginning of the book I was unsure if I was going to enjoy it but then something resonated and I found myself drawn into the storytelling. This is the story of two women, Rita and Sylvie that centres around Foxcote Manor in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. This is the second home of the wealthy Harrington family, the father is stern Walter, the mother is Jeannie who is having an affair with odious Don who is a friend of Walter. Some friend. Walter and Jeannie have two children Hera and Teddy to whom Big Rita is the much loved nanny. Rita is exceptionally tall and very striking. The second principal character Sylvie Broom who is recently separated from Steve and they have a daughter Annie. In ways you don’t see initially the Harrington family’s lives intertwine across the generations with those of Rita and Sylvie and what unfolds is an atmospheric and intriguing story. The tale is told in different timeframes by Rita, Sylvie and Hera which works really well. 

The characters are very well created and many are very likeable especially Rita and Robbie who Rita meets when she lives at Foxcote in 1971. Robbie is a lovely kind man who helps Rita to heal and cast off a trauma from childhood. Rita is the lynch pin at Foxcote and throughthe book as none of the Harrington family function well without her and nor do her immediate family. The Forest provides a wonderfully atmospheric setting as it is also pivotal to the story which is shown in the clever use of descriptive language that makes it come alive. The Forest is part of the body and soul of Robbie and Sylvie and I find that fascinating. Sylvie's and Annie’s story are also really interesting and I enjoyed how their stories fit well into  past events at Foxcote. 

The story is well written, the storyline unfolds naturally with some well placed creepy moments, there’s tension where some characters act so horribly that your jaw clenches but it’s also peppered with humour which I especially like. There are some surprising revelations although some you do see coming but that doesn’t mar the enjoyment. The ending pulls the whole story together and is heart warming and makes you smile. Overall a very enjoyable read with lots of elements that keeps you interested. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Penguin, Michael Joseph for the ARC.
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I didn't really take to this book, I found it to be too slow and although I tried I couldn't get into it, hopefully others will enjoy it more than I did.
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Although well-written with detailed characters and an evocative landscape the story just did not do anything for me other than to feel frustrated and somewhat bemused. Jumping between, usually, two time frames and each chapter being from a different person's point of view is clearly the fashion of the day but, this time, didn't work for me either. There is Jeannie, clearly suffering from serious post-natal depression, if nothing more, after the loss of the baby, her two children, workaholic husband and splendid nanny. They run off to an old manor, sans husband, somewhere in the west country but nanny Rita has to act as spy for husband (feeling guilty none the less) to find manor complete with dour housekeeper, also spying for husband. Modern time-frame, old lady suffers stroke, her daughter also runs off from husband with their 18 year old daughter - brilliant student with place offered from Cambridge and she gets pregnant. All had traumas in their backgrounds, and foregrounds. Eventually gathered that old lady equals Nanny but then lost the will to go on. Although no doubt a moving story I just couldn't get to grips with the characters and only managed 38%, then thought - nope, there are more interesting and captivating books out there for me. I'm glad for the author and publisher that the other reviewers so far have loved it, just not for me. Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin UK - Michael Joseph for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I have loved the other books by Eve Chase and this one is no different. Atmospheric and charming, interesting and immersive. Set in the forest of dean in a manor house, the timeline  flit from 1970s to the present day and it's all very gripping. It's  a book that starts with a shocking incident which then has repercussions for  the future. Everything is so vividly drawn; the house, the forest, the essence of that forest. I was capitvated and lingered over the luscious descriptions. I could see this on the TV, such were the vivid images I got when reading it.

This is the kind of novel I love - slow burn, gently taking the reader on a journey. I do love a thriller as well but books like this are the ones I read on the sofa on a sunday and remember why I love the escapism that books can bring.

Full review when I have digested this book but totally recommended from me!
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I loved this book.  It is a well-written mystery which switches between mysterious events in 1971, and the present day.  Although there weren't too many surprises, the story is compelling, with well-drawn characters, and the author conjures up the atmosphere of 1971 very well,  I would thoroughly recommend this book as a good read.
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This is a beautifully written and enthralling family mystery spanning 1971 to present day. The forest surrounding Foxcote in 1971 is almost a character on its own, and exudes a sinister aura in a way that keeps the reader on edge, just waiting for something bad to happen. The characters are all flawed in some way, and very credible as a result, if not always likeable. A thoroughly absorbing read.
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