My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 2 days
Publisher - Self published
Source - Bought from Amazon (e book), Print copy from the author
Blurb from Goodreads
Ruth Travers has lost a lover, both parents and her job. Now she thinks she might be losing her mind...
When death strikes again, Ruth finds herself the owner of a dilapidated Victorian house on the Isle of Skye: Tigh na Linne, the summer home she shared as a child with her beloved Aunt Janet, the woman she’d regarded as a mother.
As Ruth prepares to put the old house up for sale, she’s astonished to find she’s not the only occupant. Worse, she suspects she might be falling in love...
With a man who died almost a hundred years ago.
Ruth Travers cannot escape death and loss in a short period of time. Her job, her partner, both parents are deceased and now her beloved aunt has passed. With her death comes the beautiful but in need of work Tigh na Linne located in the Isle of Skye. Ruth finds herself trying to sort her own life and through that of her aunt whilst back in a place she loved as a child. With a childhood friend who is now a rugged and handsome handy man, childhood memories flooding back and Ruth finds she isn't alone in the big house. Things are being moved around, the temperature drops suddenly and Ruth comes face to face with a ghostly presence that links to her childhood and the house.
So The Glass Guardian isn't your routine ghost story, for a start it is more about relationships, acceptance, love, personal growth and family. It is hard to go into too much detail without spoiling the story and I never do spoiler reviews. Ruth is in a world of hurt, she has lost much and isn't too sure of herself, her life and what she needs to recover. Coming back to the beautiful house that held so much happiness and security for her is bittersweet as it is yet another loss that brings her to it. She finds her world shook up a little more with her old childhood friend(s) and her now relationship with them. Tom is eager to help, pushy and at least one scene with them may make for uncomfortable reading, an element of sex but it is brief.
The book takes a look at family history, grief and how it affects us all differently. The characters are carved out beautifully, one we can love, one we can identify with, one we distrust and question their motives. Ultimately, even with a ghost we have a very human story, looking at love in its many forms, music and recovery. Gillard has a way of sweeping the reader into a world of characters you can easily envision and get quickly invested in their lives. I bought up most of her books after reading House of Silence but as I enjoyed it so much I kept them for a rainy day. After reading this I need to bump them up, I bought this as an ebook and got a beautiful print version from the author. 4/5 for me this time, at time of posting the ebook is only £0.99 on Amazon.