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When you wake up without your memories, who can you trust, if you can’t even trust yourself?
Iris Henderson wakes up in a hospital bed alone, with no memory of why or how she got there. Moments later, she is introduced to her husband Marcus, a man she does not even recognise. And things only get stranger from there.
Iris is told that she volunteered to be the first test-subject for a ground-breaking AI therapy, and that she is the pioneering scientist behind the experimental treatment.
Whilst everyone warns her to leave it alone, a confused Iris continually scratches beneath the surface of her seemingly happy marriage and successful career, setting a catastrophic chain of events in motion.
Secrets will be revealed that have the capacity to destroy her whole life, but Iris can’t stop digging…
Alice McIlroy was born in London. She graduated in English and has a post-graduate in Law. She completed Faber Academy’s novel-writing programme and has taught English in state schools in London and Milan. Her writing has been longlisted for the Stylist Prize for Feminist Fiction and Grindstone International Novel Prize. The Glass Woman is her debut novel.
“Right from the opening chapter, where the narrator wakes up with no memory of who she is, The Glass Woman instantly hooks you with a timely take on the rise of AI, and burrows under your skin. It manages to be both a deliciously creepy and mysterious thriller and also a thought-provoking meditation on identity and memory. Hugely entertaining and relentlessly readable.”
– Alex Michaelides, bestselling author of The Silent Patient
“Stepford Wives meets 2001 Space Odyssey, The Glass Woman is a twisty, thought-provoking read with characters full of heart engaging with the debate around AI in a truly inventive and original way.”
– Chris MacDonald, author of Happily Ever After and The Actor
“More than simply a psychological thriller, The Glass Woman is a chilling invitation to witness what might be our future. The science is well-researched and completely believable. A novel that stayed in my mind long after I read the final page. The definition of a thought-provoking read.”
– Julie Corbin, author of Whispers of a Scandal
“McIlroy packs a lot into this slim novel, calling into question the permanence of memory, the infallibility of technology, and the trustworthiness of those we love. Taking central themes of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Severance, and Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island to new dramatic heights, McIlroy’s well-paced novel will keep readers guessing until the final pages.”
“Completely absorbing, I haven’t been able to put it down.”
– Sarah Ward, author of The Birthday Girl and The Sixth Lie
“Raises fascinating questions about consciousness and its relation to objective and subjective reality.”
“A twisty psychological thriller that plays on our current fears about AI as well as ideas about memory, trauma and the self.”
– The Guardian
“A successful example of the genre with a chilling modern feel.”
– The Critic
“The Glass Woman is that too-rare a beast – an urgent thriller with solid intellectual underpinning.”
– Shots Magazine
“McIlroy’s sharp sci-fi thriller debut is one part Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and two parts Black Mirror… raising salient questions about the ethics of AI. This will keep readers up late.”
– Publishers Weekly