Glassmusic was shortlisted for the 2015 International Rubery Book Award.
From the judges: “Glassmusic achieves a lot in a short space, successfully evoking the world of early twentieth century rural Norway and creating a rite of passage novel for Ingrid, the main character, and her blind father, who creates music from filled glasses of water. It explores in a thought-provoking way how religion can uplift or distort into disturbing behaviour. The writing is deceptively spare, creating its own beauty, which complements the simplicity of the farming setting.”
“Like Ingmar Bergman’s films, Snow’s creation is a world unto itself.”
–Annie Dawid, author of And Darkness Was Under His Feet: Stories of a Family
Read Dawid’s full review here.
“Listen to Glassmusic. Its delicate beauty will resonate long after you close the cover on the final page.”
–William Haywood Henderson, author of Augusta Locke
“Glassmusic explores the perils of childhood and the burden of holding dark secrets with prose as resonant as the music at the center of the story. Young Ingrid navigates chilling territory as she learns to make music alongside her father, and tries to make sense of a terrible incident she witnesses. The world through Ingrid’s eyes is fragile and fraught with danger. Snow’s debut novel is as beautiful as the frozen landscape she describes with such precision.”
–Tiffany Quay Tyson, author of Three Rivers
“Glassmusic is as elegant and finely wrought a novel as the title suggests. Snow’s stunning prose evokes the Norwegian Fjordlands with the sensory impact of a lucid dream and delivers a symphonic combination of emotionally complex characters and immersive story that lingers in memory long after the pages have turned.”
–Doug Kurtz, author of Mosquito
“Rebecca Snow’s Glassmusic is a wonder of imagination and skill. Part coming-of-age story, part examination of faith and evil, part family portrait and a consideration of how young women become their truest selves, part tribute to both the creative spirit and the enduring bonds between sisters, the book unfolds with uncommon beauty, terror, grace and restraint. Rural, 1920’s Norway is evoked so vividly it becomes a character itself, an animate, spiritual landscape that makes us feel we are there, one with Ingrid’s developing awareness, as the story hurtles toward its startling – and satisfying – denouement. Luminously written, in language as precise and delicate as ‘the echoes of water and glass’ made by the magical musical instrument at its heart, this book has the authority and resonance of a fable. I read in one sitting, spellbound by its beauty, insights, and power.”
–Alison Townsend, author of Persephone in America
“The rural setting, community, and family dynamics create a powerful presence against which Ingrid must struggle to become her own person. Both good and evil play disturbing parts.”
–Norwegian American Weekly
In the serene fjordlands of Norway in the early twentieth century, Ingrid has led a blissful childhood until, through no choice of her own, she becomes holder of her family’s secrets. Her father, a blind preacher who ministers through sacred music played on glassware, increasingly relies on Ingrid to see for him even as it threatens to tear apart his marriage. And after she witnesses an assault against her sister, Ingrid must decide when to speak and when to remain silent, whom to trust and when to run away. Glassmusic explores the sometimes devastating realities of loyalty and jealousy, with philosophy, music, and love serving as guides.
Links & Writerly Info
Header photo by Arnold Hoddevik
Pingback: Links | Rebecca Snow
Synchronicity is a strange thing. I got to your website through an article that was published in The Guardian. Your story struck me. I am an immigrant here, have been living in the Cincinnati, OH are for six years now. My mom is Swedish and her parents emigrated when she was 3 years old to Venezuela. We discovered just last year that my grandmother’s family held a secret, and a whole new part of the family in Sweden was revealed. A bittersweet story that makes me think a lot. I am myself in love with writing. Have been writing (in Spanish) since I learned how to do it. Published a Poetry Book in Venezuela, have a Blog in Spanish, have written several children’s stories -unpublished-. I don’t really know why I am telling you this. Maybe I am trying to find the courage to write my grandmother’s story, to find peace with my own. I will have to do it Spanish, because that’s my native language.
Reading your journey to write this novel (which I bought and are going to star reading today) inspired me. Thank you!
Thank you, Anne-Marie! I apologize for not seeing your message until now. I hope you enjoyed my novel, and I especially hope that you write your grandmother’s story!
I’m so glad to hear this, Anne-Marie! And I’m so sorry I missed your message from years ago now. I hope you do write (if you haven’t already!) you’re grandmother’s story.