The Glass House
Publisher: Fremantle Press
Brooke Dunnell’s The Glass House tells the tale of Julia Lambett, a thirty-something year old Melbournian woman whose marriage is dissolving behind a facade of performative normalcy. When Julia’s elderly father can no longer take care of himself, she flies to Perth. The trip, which doubles as a trial separation from her husband, is hard on Julia, who misses her stepdaughter and feels emotionally adrift.
Untangling the obstacle course of her father’s life feels like an impossible task, further compounded by his recalcitrant refusal to leave the family home. There is a stark contrast between Julia’s idyllic childhood and the shadows that remain in the absence of her late mother’s light. When Julia runs into a childhood friend, memories unfold, tensions build and hidden dynamics reluctantly resurface.
A sense that something is not-quite-right permeates The Glass House as multiple mysteries unravel in tandem. Heavy with the strange nostalgia of coming home to a place both familiar and different, Dunnell’s descriptions are rich in detail and presence. Themes of ostracism and loss sit subtly in the blurred margins of memory as secrets unfurl and perspectives shift. Intriguing and intimate, this award-winning novel depicts complex dynamics with style, suspense and stunning prose.