House of Glass
1914. Clara Waterfield is educated, spirited - a young woman with a love and understanding of the botanical world. She is also grieving; her mother's death was pained and quick. For comfort, Clara turns to the warm, familiar glasshouses of Kew on the edge of London. When a letter arrives there from the reclusive owner of a country house seeking someone who can help him create a glasshouse of his own, it is Clara who offers to go.
At first, Shadowbrook House in Gloucestershire seems perfect: an elegant home of honey-coloured stone, its gardens are filled with foxgloves, hydrangea, roses and beeches, lily ponds, a croquet lawn. But she soon becomes aware of rumours and whispers. Who is the owner, who never shows himself? Why do the maids cry at night? Why does Clara tend to a glasshouse to which nobody comes? At first, these are quiet questions. But after a sudden, shocking event, Clara has to work out who she can trust. Of the new people - particularly the men - who have come into her life, she must ask herself who she loves, who loves her, and who is telling lies.
This is a novel about the strength of a woman's will; Clara will fight for more from this world than women like her are allowed. Set against the background of a Britain on the cusp of catastrophic change, it also about the human heart - what we can survive, the mistakes we can make - and ultimately, what we can hide.
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