Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Glassblower of Murano

Book 53 of my 2015 Reading Challenge
read from August 16 - 18

The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

Summary (via Goodreads)
Venice, 1681. Glassblowing is the lifeblood of the Republic, and Venetian mirrors are more precious than gold. Jealously guarded by the murderous Council of Ten, the glassblowers of Murano are virtually imprisoned on their island in the lagoon. But the greatest of the artists, Corradino Manin, sells his methods and his soul to the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, to protect his secret daughter. In the present day his descendant, Leonora Manin, leaves an unhappy life in London to begin a new one as a glassblower in Venice. As she finds new life and love in her adoptive city, her fate becomes inextricably linked with that of her ancestor and the treacherous secrets of his life begin to come to light.

My Opinion
I read this because it was a book club selection.  I have mixed feelings about it.

The author is half Venetian and it showed in the little details.  I was more interested in Corradino's portions than Nora's.

There were some things, like the side story with the journalist and the conflict with Alessandro and another woman, that didn't seem necessary and took it a little too far into 'rom-com' territory for me.

And there was a moment involving the glass heart that was absolutely NOT okay and I vented about it massively at book club. 

Now that I'm going over my notes, it feels more like a 2 star than a 3 and I'm changing my rating to reflect that. 

A Few Quotes from the Book
"Little wonder that a mirror is known as a looking glass. We're all looking for something when we gave into one."

"With a shaking hand, Corradino drew the heavy drape aside and entered into what he knew not. Like the Dante of his book - of his father's book - he entered on a new path, with a new guide, midway through the journey of his life. He knew naught of where the road would lead, or the one who would lead him."

"To have wanted something for so long, to have hoped against hope, until hope itself dies, and resignation sets in. To have almost forgotten what it was that you wanted so much. And then, at last, to be given the thing you desired, and be filled with joy and terror in equal measure. Venice is a prism. Light enters white and leaves in a rainbow of colors. Everything is changed here. I am changed."

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