I want to thank NetGalley and Yali Books Publishing for my advance copy of House of Glass Hearts. It’s publishing month for Leila Siddiqui’s debut novel rich in Pakistani history and lore. An atmospheric, soul-stirring tale filled with family secrets, war, love, and loss.
Overall Rating: 5/5
Genre: Mystery & Thriller, Historical Fiction, YA
Published: September 29, 2021
Synopsis: Provided by NetGalley
Maera and her ammi never talk about the past, a place where they’ve banished their family’s heartache and grief forever. They especially never mention the night Maera’s older brother Asad disappeared from her naana’s house in Karachi ten years ago. But when her grandfather dies and his derelict greenhouse appears in her backyard from thousands of miles away, Maera is forced to confront the horrors of her grandfather’s past. To find out what happened to her brother, she must face the keepers of her family’s secrets—the monsters that live inside her grandfather’s mysterious house of glass.
Seamlessly blending history with myth, HOUSE OF GLASS HEARTS follows a Pakistani-American teen’s ruthless quest to find her missing sibling, even if the truth would reveal her grandfather’s devastating secret and tear her family apart. In a narrative that switches between colonial India and present-day America, this ambitious debut explores how the horrors of the past continue to shape the lives of South Asians around the world.
House of Glass Hearts is a fantastic debut novel and a fantastic read. The way the author blended magic, lore, and history was truly beautiful. I am personally not very familiar with Pakistani history, so this was a lovely educational experience since I went down a rabbit hole learning about the Partition of India into what we know now as present-day India and Pakistan. I also went down a rabbit hole reading about some of the lore to better understand and appreciate the story. I loved this story; it was eerie, mysterious, and magical while simultaneously heart-wrenching and filled with heartache and loss due to war and the devastation it leaves for the generations to come. I love non-linear timelines and having to piece the story together little by little like a puzzle. The story jumps back and forth from present-day America to 1940’s Colonial India via journal entries left behind by Maera’s grandfather, Haroon. And the author did a fantastic job at seamlessly transporting the reader back and forth. Siddiqui also did a beautiful job with the plot, gripping me deeper into the story, and she wrote in such a way that I felt deeply the pain Haroon experienced as he saw his country be torn apart by war and religious intolerance. The writing was truly heartfelt and the author’s notes on the story were beautiful and insightful. Honestly, this was such a powerful and poignant novel. I loved this book, and I recommend everyone to pick it up when it it releases on September 29th.