ARC Book Review – The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson

 The Glass Forest
Author: Cynthia Swanson
Publish Date: February 6, 2018
# of Pages: 352
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


(From Goodreads) From the New York Times bestselling author of The Booksellercomes 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 baby boy. But one phone call changes her life forever.

When Paul’s niece, Ruby, reports that her father, Henry, has committed suicide, and that her mother, Silja, is missing, Angie and Paul drop everything and fly to the small upstate town of Stonekill, New York to be by Ruby’s side.

Angie thinks they’re coming to the rescue of Paul’s grief-stricken young niece, but Ruby is a composed and enigmatic seventeen-year-old who resists Angie’s attempts to nurture her. As Angie learns more about the complicated Glass family, staying in Henry and Silja’s eerie and ultra-modern house on the edge of the woods, she begins to question the very fabric of her own marriage.

Through Silja’s flashbacks, Angie’s discovery of astonishing truths, and Ruby’s strategic dissection of her parents’ state of affairs, a story of love, secrets, and ultimate betrayal is revealed.


Rating (1-10, 10 is exceptional)
Quality of Writing – 9
Pace – 8
Plot Development – 9
Ending – 10
Characters – 9
Enjoyability – 10
Ease of Reading – 9

Overall Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Glass Forest is a little bit of mystery, little bit of suspense, and a whole lot of awesome. The characters are rich in detail, and the “whodunit” is quite a shocker. I loved every minute of it.

The quality of writing in The Glass Forest is superb. It’s easy to feel immersed in the 1950/1960s when you’re reading this book.

The plot is so intriguing! Ruby’s dad commits suicide and her mother is missing. It seems like a straightforward story of heartbreak and abandonment . . . but is it? While reading the story, you get to jump back and forth between the perspectives of Ruby, her aunt Angie, and her mother Silja. The different perspectives really help you get in deep with the story, and the pacing is swift and engaging. The author does a phenomenal job of unpacking the mystery slowly but surely, one piece at a time. I flew through the last 20% of the book–I couldn’t wait to find out how it ended!

I absolutely loved the ending. Honestly, it was a WOW! I don’t know if I can say it was a happy ending, but it was a very satisfying ending.

The characters in The Glass Forest are richly complex. Even with all of Silja’s quirks and flaws, I found myself feeling very sympathetic towards her. Yes, she’s materialistic and wants the best of the best, but she also works hard, provides for her family, and holds up a marriage that is less than ideal. Silja, in my mind, was like a trapped bird in the book. I wanted very much for her to be free.

Ruby is another interesting character in the book. She’s somewhat standoffish and sneaky, but she also possesses a strength that few other characters in the book have.

Admittedly I was somewhat indifferent to Angie, Paul’s wife. Paul is Henry’s (Ruby’s father) in the book. She’s sweet and naive, and gets caught up in a bad situation. I did enjoy the last half of the book, seeing how she reacted when her “ideal world” bubble was popped.

And then there’s Henry and Paul. I loved their characters–they were so well done.

This is a book you could easily read in a single sitting. It was so easy to read and very enjoyable.

Seriously . . . this book should be on your TBR shelf!

Thank you to NetGalley for providing the Kindle version of this book in exchange for an honest review.



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12 thoughts on “ARC Book Review – The Glass Forest by Cynthia Swanson

  1. this is the perfect book for one of the reading challenge prompts I’m doing with a colleague. we had to pick a book set in the decade we were born. i had an easy time with the 80s but she complained that there are not many books set in the 60s that are not historical stuff. so i recommended her this book and she’s super happy. great to see a good review. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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