Release Date: March 18th 2021
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book to review
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
Once upon a time Ella had wished for more than her life as a lowly maid.
Now forced to work hard under the unforgiving, lecherous gaze of the man she once called stepfather, Ella’s only refuge is in the books she reads by candlelight, secreted away in the library she isn’t permitted to enter.
One night, among her beloved books of far-off lands, Ella’s wishes are answered. At the stroke of midnight, a fairy godmother makes her an offer that will change her life: seven wishes, hers to make as she pleases. But each wish comes at a price and Ella must to decide whether it’s one she’s willing to pay it.
A smouldering, terrifying new spin on Cinderella – perfect for fans of Laura Purcell and Erin Morgenstern
The Shadow in the Glass is the beautifully told story of Ella, once a ward of the house and now forced to be one of the maids. Ella dreamed of a life travelling the world and wearing beautiful gowns, but with trouble brewing in the household that dream seems to get further and further away. When she stumbles upon a book in the library and a fairy godmother appears, she is offered seven wishes in exchange for her soul. But is Ella willing to pay such a high price?
The Shadow in the Glass is such a dark and compelling spin on the Cinderella tale. I loved the way that Harwood took elements from the original story and put a completely different spin on it. It is quite a subtle retelling with only some aspects of the fairy tale, but I loved the way Harwood brought the story to life. This is a really addictive read, I sat down one night to read the first chapter and was still there at three in the morning. Thoughout the story there is a tense, uneasy atmosphere – particularly towards the end of the story as the stakes are getting even higher. I loved the concept of this story and it was well paced. Harwood has a really gorgeous writing style so it was easy to get completely lost in the sights and sounds of Victorian London.
The story is quite a bleak one, showcasing the hard lives of the maids and their attempts to avoid catching the eye of Mr Pembroke. The story also touches on the subject of grief, as Ella mourns the death of Mrs Pembroke. I really liked Ella as a main character. She was a bit naive to start off, but she shows lots of depth as the story goes on and she attempts to save Aoife from Mr Pembroke.
This is a really gripping story with really beautiful writing. if you love fairy tales, this dark and sinister retelling will absolutely be the book for you.