Previous titles The Spiral House and The Magistrate of Gower have secured this local author a reputation for beautifully written literary fiction. Under Glass, newly released, is set around the mid 1800s. Mrs Chetwyn lands in Port Natal to join her husband – their passage and some land have been bought by her father-in-law. But as a condition for keeping the land she must produce a male heir. Cosmo is duly born, a most celebrated son, who secures the family fortune. He is cosseted by a largely female family and the weight of his responsibility is made clear to him from a young age. Their farm flourishes and Mrs Chetwyn creates a beautiful garden from seeds given to her by a botanist. The horticultural element is a central theme, and a metaphor for the growing, developing family. There is also intrigue surrounding the timely birth of Cosmo. A wonderful, well-researched story of colonial life.