The lives of three very different women intersect in shocking ways in this “outstanding psychological thriller” (Library Journal, starred review), by the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookseller.
In the autumn of 1960, Angie Glass is living an idyllic life in her Wisconsin hometown. At twenty-one, she’s married to handsome, charming Paul, and has just given birth to a baby boy. But one phone call changes her life forever.
When Paul’s niece, Ruby, tells them that her father, Henry, has committed suicide and her mother, Silja, has gone missing, the newlyweds drop everything to be by Ruby’s side in the small upstate town of Stonekill, New York.
Angie thinks they’re coming to the rescue of Paul’s grief-stricken young niece, but seventeen-year-old Ruby, self-possessed and enigmatic, resists Angie’s attempts to nurture her. While taking up residence in Henry and Silja’s eerie, ultra-modern house on the edge of the woods, Angie discovers astonishing truths about the complicated Glass family. As she learns about Henry and Silja’s spiraling relationship, and Ruby’s role in keeping them together, and apart, Angie begins to question the very fabric of her own marriage.
As details of the past unfold and Ruby dissects her parents’ state of affairs, the Glass women realize what they’re capable of when it comes to love, secrets, and ultimate betrayal.
As turbulent and electrified as the period it’s set in, The Glass Forest is an “intoxicating slow burn [that] builds to a conclusion rife with shocking reveals.” (Publishers Weekly)
Swanson follows her bestselling debut, The Bookseller, with a stunning suspense novel set in 1960. According to 17-year-old Ruby Glass, her father, Henry, poisoned himself after her mother, Silja, walked out on them. Henry's brother, Paul, and Paul's new bride, Angie, travel to Stonekill, N.Y., with their infant son in order to settle Henry's affairs and support their niece. Angie, who's 21, can't fathom how any woman could abandon her family and is determined to befriend and comfort Ruby, but Ruby keeps Angie at arm's length and seems unexpectedly composed. When the police reveal that Henry may have been murdered, and the locals start telling sordid stories about him and his relatives, Angie does some digging and realizes how little she knows about the Glasses including Paul. Swanson uses exquisitely rendered characters and an intricately woven plot to explore the cultural and political fallout of WWII, as well as the changing role and limited rights of women in the mid 20th century. This intoxicating slow burn builds to a conclusion rife with shocking reveals.
It was a little slow at first but then it got my curiosity stirred, in the end it was a very good book.
I read this book in a couple days. I was intrigued earl on even though I didn’t see all the pieces falling into place until the last third of the book, give or take. When I began, I couldn’t have fathomed the twists and turns I would take along with the author. I definitely recommend it.
The Glass Forest
Fantastic page turner. Wonderful characters, gripping plot line - I found myself racing chapter to chapter afraid of what was coming next.