- Title: Under Glass
- Author: Claire Robertson
- ISBN: 9781415209707
- Page: 172
- Format: Hardcover
Set in Natal in the nineteenth century among the settlers and the homesteaders and the sugar cane farmers, Claire Robertson s masterful new novel Under Glass tells the story of Mrs Chetwyn, who arrives in Port Natal from India in 1856 She is with her eldest daughter and her ayah, and has been travelling for eleven months to join her husband, already deep in the hinterlandSet in Natal in the nineteenth century among the settlers and the homesteaders and the sugar cane farmers, Claire Robertson s masterful new novel Under Glass tells the story of Mrs Chetwyn, who arrives in Port Natal from India in 1856 She is with her eldest daughter and her ayah, and has been travelling for eleven months to join her husband, already deep in the hinterland.Her father in law has staked them their passage, a sum for settlement and an arrangement for the purchase of land, but there are conditions to his generosity that will have a lasting effect on the Chetwyns, specially on their fifth child, Cosmo, born years later.It is on the Chetwyns sugar cane farm that the reader begins to understand that there is something strange about Cosmo, something that must be kept secret or hidden.At once a deeply researched historical novel and an intriguing mystery, Under Glass is a high stakes narrative of deception and disguise that will appeal to a range of readers of literary fiction by one of the country s finest novelists.
Recent Comments "Under Glass"
Mrs Chetwyn arrived in Africa with her young daughter amid a storm. Her husband went ahead, and while she fears they may not reach the shore, he hunts. Once safely ashore in Natal, she began the arduous journey of making a life in a foreign country. Chetwyn was promised assistance from his father, yet the couple soon discovers that any land which they purchase will belong to them only if they produce an heir. Yet Mrs Chetwyn’s second and third pregnancies produce girls.Determined to try again [...]
This is the first book I've read from the highly-rated Claire Robertson, a former winner of the Sunday Times fiction prize. Honestly, I struggled in the beginning. The setup - the first 100 pages - felt a bit tedious to me. But once the 'mystery' that is central to the book starts to reveal itself, I was intrigued enough to fly through the other two-thirds of the novel. The story concerns the Chetwyns, an English family that buys land for sugarcane farming during the mid-1800s in Natal, at the h [...]
Under Glass is a masterpiece of post-colonial literary fiction from an author who is fast becoming a national treasure. Metaphors are beautifully and subtly layered throughout the narrative, with gender, sexuality, race and class explored deftly and to remarkable effect. In her usual style, Robertson immerses us in the environment - this time the rich green landscape of Durban and the Natal coast prior to colonisation - though we never shake the uneasy sense, expressed by the character of Mrs Ch [...]
This novel is best absorbed slowly to appreciate the finely crafted word choices. An indulgence of words.
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