The Glass Forest

The Glass Forest

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookseller comes a gripping literary suspense novel set in the 1960s about a deeply troubled family and three women who will reveal its dark truths.In the autumn of 1960, Angie Glass is living an idyllic life in her Wisconsin hometown. At twenty-one, she’s married to charming, handsome Paul, and has just given birth to a ba...

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Title:The Glass Forest
Author:Cynthia Swanson
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The Glass Forest Reviews

  • Sarah Joint

    There's not a lot of action, it's more of a character study of some of the most interesting people I've read about recently. Sometimes books are written in a way that you can imagine yourself there with the characters, sometimes they're not. I'm happy to say this is the former. I could feel what they were feeling. After reading the blurb, I was nervous about keeping track of the three characters we get perspectives from, but

    There's not a lot of action, it's more of a character study of some of the most interesting people I've read about recently. Sometimes books are written in a way that you can imagine yourself there with the characters, sometimes they're not. I'm happy to say this is the former. I could feel what they were feeling. After reading the blurb, I was nervous about keeping track of the three characters we get perspectives from, but they all have their own voice and it's very easy to keep track.

    Glass is living her version of an ideal life. It's 1960, she's married to a charming and handsome older man, and raising their baby boy. Her husband Paul is passionate and caring, and she couldn't be happier. She knows exactly how her life will end up... a happy marriage, more babies, and staying in love with her husband forever.

    is the seventeen year old niece of Paul, Angie's husband. She calls their home one day with terrible news... her father has killed himself and her mother is missing. Paul almost travels to attend to this family business by himself, but Angie insists on coming along. She thinks Ruby will need her. They don't know each other well, but this is the time a girl needs a mother figure... but Angie is still young, only a few years older than Ruby and often confused for a teenager herself. Ruby doesn't seem to be interested in Angie at all. She barely wants to speak to anyone.

    we see from flashbacks, the mother of Ruby and wife to Paul's brother, Henry. She's nowhere to be found. A career woman who provided her family, how could she possibly abandon her daughter? The note she left saying she needed to get away offers no clues as to her whereabouts. The chapters from the past explain the marriage between her and Henry in vivid detail... the end of which take place in the modern glass house in the woods that Angie, Paul, and Ruby are now staying in as they try to figure out what steps to take next.

    Having known Paul for only a bit over a year, there may be lots of things Angie doesn't know about her husband and his family.

  • Theresa Alan

    Wow. This is a very different book than Swanson’s debut novel, The Bookseller, but equally compelling with the same attention to historical accuracy that makes you feel like you’re in the 1940s/1960s.

    Told from the alternating points of view of three women, the story gets off to a slow start, but once you get into it, you won’t be able to put it down. Stilja’s story begins in 1942 when she meets Henry and has a whirlwind love affair and a quick marriage before he goes off to war. The war changes

    Wow. This is a very different book than Swanson’s debut novel, The Bookseller, but equally compelling with the same attention to historical accuracy that makes you feel like you’re in the 1940s/1960s.

    Told from the alternating points of view of three women, the story gets off to a slow start, but once you get into it, you won’t be able to put it down. Stilja’s story begins in 1942 when she meets Henry and has a whirlwind love affair and a quick marriage before he goes off to war. The war changes him, and not for the better, but Stilja has already given birth to Ruby.

    Angie and Ruby’s stories begin in 1960 after Stilja has left a note saying she’s leaving them and the dead body of Henry is found outside their glass house in the forest with a cup of poisoned tea. Where is Stilja? Did she kill Henry or was it really suicide because he was so depressed about her leaving? Also, what truths does Angie have to discover about her much older husband, the painter Paul, the brother of Henry?

    The way this story unravels is deeply gratifying and the history is fascinating. It makes you appreciate the way things have improved for women, even if we still have a long way to go.

    Thanks so much to NetGalley and Touchstone for the opportunity to review this book, which RELEASES FEB. 6, 2018.

    For more of my reviews, please visit:

  • Lisa

    Wow The Glass Forest By Cynthia Swanson was AMAZING I was hooked right from the start literally could not put this down, it had so many aspects of a historical fiction novel that I was surprised when they classed it as mystery suspense, however what can I say I will be reading more from this author in the future. It was atmospheric, dark, & slow which I think worked as you got the plot in your head easier, loved the characters they had their secrets lies & deceit I loved every minute was

    Wow The Glass Forest By Cynthia Swanson was AMAZING I was hooked right from the start literally could not put this down, it had so many aspects of a historical fiction novel that I was surprised when they classed it as mystery suspense, however what can I say I will be reading more from this author in the future. It was atmospheric, dark, & slow which I think worked as you got the plot in your head easier, loved the characters they had their secrets lies & deceit I loved every minute was beautifully written.

    Angie & Paul Glass are living an idyllic life in Dawn County Wisconsin in the 1960's, until they receive a phone call from their niece Ruby saying her father Henry Paul's brother has committed suicide.

    Ruby daughter of Henry & Silja live in Stone kill New York her Mother Silja has gone missing which is strange so Angie, Paul & baby son PJ fly to New York to be by her side & find out the ytruth as to what happened to Henry & Silja.

    We find out through letters how henry & Silja met I must say I could not stop reading this part as it was back in 1942 - !944 Henry decides to go to war He was gone a long time but Silja finds out she is pregnant with Ruby she writes to Henry telling him he will be a father, Henry jumps out of his skin he is so happy, but then its a while till she hears from him again, then she gets a letter saying he has been badly injured they were so in love.

    But when Henry comes home he is a totally different person there is no love there anymore, Silja relies on her mother to look after Ruby while she goes to school then supports them all as Henry cannot work.

    But as we find out later the Glass Women have hidden secrets they don't want anybody to find out about, until finally one of them has had enough & could blow everything sky high.

    All I can say is there were a lot of twisty moments in this book as well as heartfelt moments which were quite sad my favourite character was Silja being from Finland was gutsy strong character who stood up for herself no matter the cost.

    5 shiny *****rs

  • Tammie

    Enjoyable read. A little on the slow side but very well written and did pick up near the end. I would recommend to readers that like mysteries and don’t mind a slower paced book.

  • JanB

    What a great read! I found this novel to be an atmospheric, suspenseful tale with just enough subtlety in the beginning to give the reader a hint that all was not as it appeared to be in the Glass families. The more I read, the more palpable the tension and eeriness. I couldn’t put it down, read into the wee hours of the morning, and finished it in a day.

    The book opens when Paul Glass receives news that his brother, Henry, has apparently committed suicide, and his wife Silja is missing. Paul, h

    
What a great read! I found this novel to be an atmospheric, suspenseful tale with just enough subtlety in the beginning to give the reader a hint that all was not as it appeared to be in the Glass families. The more I read, the more palpable the tension and eeriness. I couldn’t put it down, read into the wee hours of the morning, and finished it in a day.

    The book opens when Paul Glass receives news that his brother, Henry, has apparently committed suicide, and his wife Silja is missing. Paul, his wife Angie, and their young son travel to attend to funeral arrangements and take care of teenage Ruby, Henry and Silja’s daughter. They learn shortly after arriving that the police suspect Henry’s death was not a suicide, and Silja has still not been found. Ruby is uncommunicative, has no friends, and keeps to herself.

    Alternating chapters tells Silja's story using flashbacks starting in the early 1940’s when she first meets Henry, and follows her life up to the time of Henry’s death in the early 1960's. I can't say more about the plot without spoilers, but suffice it to say there are a lot of secrets, disordered relationships, and strange dynamics. Having the novel set during these time periods worked perfectly for the story and the period details were spot on. I had a few minor quibbles with the ending but not enough to detract from my enjoyment of the novel as a whole.

    This is not a fast-paced thriller. I recommended it for fans of dark, suspenseful, and character-driven tales. There’s no trickery to hook the reader, just good old-fashioned story telling. Its a slow burn in the beginning during the set up, but I flew through the last half.

    * Many thanks to Netgalley, Cynthia Swanson, and Touchstone for an e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Zoeytron

    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

    Henry and Paul Glass are brothers, movie star handsome with their dark eyes and slow easy smiles.  Is there something slightly off about one of them?  Could one or both be acting?  Troubling secrets and falsehoods are bubbling to the fore, doing real damage and eroding trust.  Their respective families are about to be shattered.

    The slow build works perfectly here in a look at family dynamics that rest soundly on the darkish side.  No twists

    Copy furnished by Net Galley for the price of a review.

    Henry and Paul Glass are brothers, movie star handsome with their dark eyes and slow easy smiles.  Is there something slightly off about one of them?  Could one or both be acting?  Troubling secrets and falsehoods are bubbling to the fore, doing real damage and eroding trust.  Their respective families are about to be shattered.

    The slow build works perfectly here in a look at family dynamics that rest soundly on the darkish side.  No twists of the type that leave you with whiplash, but sometimes that is a good thing. I happily settled for the creeping sense of dread that stayed with me throughout the read.

  • Carol
  • Diane S ☔

    DNF at 35% Will leave rated. Just so plodding got slow, and I'm just not feeling anything.

  • Kendall

    DNF at 30 percent. I tried my best with this one but it was extremely extremely slow. I could not connect with any of the characters and tried multiple times to come back and read it. I have been on streak with 1-2 star reads right now and just so many other books to read/review. Thank you for the opportunity.

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