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A house of family mysteries and lies…
On every next page of The Glass House by Eve Chase, you get into another labyrinth curve, still darker and even more sinister.
You never know what awaits you there when you start unraveling the tangle that drags you into the mist of the Forest of Dean, with its lingering scent and crackling, closer to the mullioned windows of the old manor…
The Glass House book is a riddle for you to discover the haunting mystery hidden so well by Eve Chase.
The Glass House Book Author
Here’s what you should know about the author of The Glass House:
- Eve Chase is the nickname of Polly Williams, novelist, and journalist.
- Her top three novels are mystery thrillers: The Wildling Sisters, Black Rabbit Hall, and The Glass House.
- The Glass House is a Sunday Times bestseller and Richard & Judy Bookclub choice.
Read our spoiler-free summary and then some thoughts on The Glass House by Eve Chase.
The Glass House Book Summary
The story is unfolding in a dual timeframe: the 1970s and the present day.
It’s 1971. The Harrington family gets relocated from London to the country house in the Forest of Dean for the summer.
Jeannie Harrington is suffering from severe depression and trying to cope with the death of a child.
Her two kids, Teddy and Hera, are well taken care of by Rita, their kind-hearted nanny, who unwillingly moves along with them to the forest that scares her.
But one day alters their lives for good, as Hera stumbles upon a “blankety bundle” with an infant inside.
Jeannie is determined to keep the little one to herself as a sunray in her dismal post-traumatic world and forbids Rita to call the police.
It can’t lead to anything good…
And it doesn’t. Soon, someone is found dead near Foxcote Manor.
A modern-day Londoner, Sylvie, confronts the ruins of her marriage. Her mother gets into the hospital, and her teenage daughter is in a tight corner.
And that’s when the stories get interwoven into each other, with entanglements and twists you wouldn’t ever expect.
There are so many decades-old secrecies that have to be broken at last.
What happened that 1971 summer? What carefully plotted conundrums are kept in the woods?
Here’s a link to your copy to solve this mind teaser.
What is Special About The Glass House Book?
The Forest of Dean and Foxcote Manor
“The forest looks like it’ll eat them alive.”
The Forest of Dean is written by Eve Chase, a separate, live character in The Glass House book.
Her usage of imagery and metaphors offers a strikingly ominous visualization of it.
Its texture, soaring colossal trees, and the lack of sky – everything hints at something menacing and ruthlessly savage concealed in its depths where only “a woodpecker drums its territorial tattoo.”
From the very first page, Rita’s apprehension of the forest gets under your skin: her widening eyes, sucked-in breath, sweat trickling down her knee, and shaking hands.
Then your focus is shifted toward Foxcote Manor.
It “erupts from the undergrowth” and looks far from the Londonian townhouse elegance.
Its dust and darkness are unwelcoming, to say the least.
The Glass Terrarium
Amid the hostile environment and loneliness, the only treasure for Rita is her glass terrarium.
With the help of it, Eve Chase delivers a powerful symbolic meaning in The Glass House book.
When built on lies and omissions, the family’s well-being and happiness can be easily broken like fragile glass.
And similar to the plants in terrariums, pressed to the glass, children can be entrapped into the families in which they are born.
But it shouldn’t always be so.
A family isn’t necessarily made with blood bonds.
Here, the difference between mothering and motherhood appears crucial in the novel.
Motherhood vs Mothering in The Glass House by Eve Chase
When it comes to motherhood, society sets its own expectations – an ideology of what a “true” mother should feel and should be.
The so-called “complete mother.”
What about mothering?
How many mothering types, that is, experiences of being a mother, are there?
Can you call each unique experience right or wrong?
In The Glass House, the mother-daughter theme is on the novel’s surface.
You see how Rita, a nanny, is mothering her employer’s kids.
She gives everything to the Harringtons and sacrifices her own wants and comfort for the sake of them.
At the same time, you can’t be left indifferent to the condition of Jeannie; a mother struck by misery and sorrow after losing her baby.
The institution of “motherhood” would judge her harshly because she has other children, after all, to care for.
But can she, with her trauma?
There’s Hera, a daughter plagued with emotional instability.
She lacks mothering from Jeannie and turns to Rita instead.
Then there’s Sylvie and her daughter Annie.
Sylvie is trying to find a common language with a teenager who already doesn’t seem immature and childlike anymore.
Finally, you follow Sylvie’s path to uncover the truths her mother has been hiding.
Where does she belong?
What was in her family’s past?
Last Note on The Glass House Book
Telling the story from multiple perspectives (three POVs: Rita, Sylvie, and Hera), Even Chase shells out who-did-what-and-whys and navigates you through the maze in The Glass House.
When the family history is covered with question marks, the road to self-identification can be paved only with truthful answers. They may be violent, gruesome, and dark.
So, you’ve got to be prepared for the truth in this book.
If you still have a hankering for some more suspenseful and entangled stories after The Glass House, Verity by Colleen Hoover should be your next-to-read novel.
Comment which one is better to your taste afterwards.
Is The Glass House a part of the book series?
No, it’s one of Eve Chase’s standalones.
Are The Glass House and The Daughters of Foxcote Manor completely different books?
These are the two titles of the same novel. In the UK, the book was published as Glass House, and in the United States and Canada – as The Daughters of Foxcote Manor.
Is The Glass House book scary?
There are some Gothic elements, as well as undertones of thriller and suspense. However, it’s a drama, and the spotlight is on the families’ stories.