A Thousand Ships
by Natalie Haynes
In the middle of the night, Creusa wakes to find her beloved Troy engulfed in flames. Ten seemingly endless years of brutal conflict between the Greeks and the Trojans are over, and the Greeks are victorious. Over the next few hours, the only life she has ever known will turn to ash. I have never read any of Haynes’ books before (this is her third), but was excited to see that this was a story about the Trojan War from a female perspective. In most stories about ancient Greece, the women are always in the shadows, so this was a nice change. The characters have courage and strength as they try to survive such harrowing times. It is a bit of a slow start, but it really doesn’t take long to be immersed. This book will stay with you long after you have closed it.
The Glass Woman
by Caroline Lea
This dark and menacing tale is set in Iceland in 1686. Surviving is tough, but even more so when the breadwinner of the house dies and leaves his wife and daughter struggling to find fuel for the fire and food for the table. Desperate times call for desperate measures, so the daughter, Rosa, agrees to a loveless marriage to a man who has the means to furnish her mother’s daily needs. Suspicion and dread hang on every page as Rosa moves far from home and learns of the strange circumstances surrounding the death of her husband’s first wife. Lea, who is an English university lecturer, paints vivid portraits of her characters who are mired in pagan rituals and beliefs. The frozen landscape of Iceland is the perfect backdrop for this suspenseful tale.