Under Glass by Claire Robertson (Umuzi) ISBN: 9781415209707
Claire Robertson is a South African novelist and this, her third novel, gives a view into a colonial life in Port Natal during the 1800s.
Mrs Chetwyn must bear a son. If she does not, the sugar-cane farm of Missenden will be wrested from her and her four daughters upon the death of her husband. With this curse always present, she develops a strategy that will secure her family’s future despite the over-bearing laws of the land that entail the estate away from her.
This was a difficult book to read. Its use of language is unique and beautiful but its sparing dialogue and extensive sub-text and imagery makes it hard to feel confident that you know exactly what is going on.
Quite early on I guessed Mrs Chetwyn’s secret, which forms the heart of the plot, but this was because it mirrors one of my favourite novels called The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks.