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Most Helpful Favorable Review
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.
Marina Florato provides a strong thriller
Centuries later, descendant, Leonora Manin leaves a broken marriage and London having obtained work as a modern day apprentice glassblower in the Venetian suburb Murano. Her boss knows of her connection to the greatest glassblower ever and plans to take advantage of her illustrious ancestry. Jealousy as it did several hundred years ago leaves the British expatriate in trouble with her vocation and with hAlessandro Bardolino; however, as she researches her great ancestor she realizes her troubles are minor envies compared to what Corradino faced from invidious villains.-------------
The descriptions of seventeenth century Venice as a literally backstabbing dangerous place will hook the audience even as the contemporary subplot is exciting and well written. The story line is fast-paced as the two Manin's three plus centuries apart face some of the seven deadly sins though the difference in how deadly what each confronts is quite startling as his lethal to the body and the soul while hers is more spiritual. Marina Florato provides a strong thriller.-
posted by harstan on May 5, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
enjoyable, well-researched historical mysery
Right off the bat, I noticed the book has a decidedly European feel to it and I had to hasten to the dictionary a couple of times to figure out various European uses of words or phrases that couldn't be deciphered from context. Plus, until I got past page 100 or so, I was getting the feeling that the book was going to be much more Chick Lit vs. bona fide historical fiction. So, while I was not totally captivated or impressed initially, once the 1600s back story really got going that laid the groundwork for the modern-day mystery our heroine- one Leonora Manin, a young Brit trained in glassblowing just like her talented but infamous Italian ancestor Corradino Manin, the glass "maestro" of Murano-finds herself in, I wasn't expecting much.
However, I am happy to report I was wrong. Once this first-time author gets the chance to show her incredible knowledge of Venice, the art of Venetian glass working and the history of the period, you're hooked and the story moves along at quite a clip. Fiorato manages to imbue both her modern-day and historical characters with lively and believable personalities as well as recreate the glittering, romantic world of 17th century Venice and France with aplomb. Her vivid descriptions of Venetian life, art and architecture, politics and culture left me with a whole new appreciation for the period as well as the yen to learn a little bit more Italian to better appreciate the treasures of Italian art when I next get the opportunity. Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who has an interest in Italy, art or just good, solid historical mysteries. Like the glass so prized even today from the Island of Murano, Fiorato has put together a sparkling mystery as clear, hard and mesmerizing as the famed glass itself.
posted by PamieHall on June 16, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 30, 2009
Carina Little Story- it Doesn't Blow
I sort-of liked The Glassblower of Murano. Nora goes to Venice after her husband divorces her for a uglier woman. Her idea is to focus on her glassblowing career, inspired to go not only by a desire to develop her own artistic skill with glass but also by a desire to find a link to family, more precisely to a famous glassblower ancestor of a father she never knew. Not surprisingly she has to overcome some obstacles and finds some romance along the way. A lot of her success comes from her being a pretty blond that inspires men to move mountains to help her.
What did I like? Well, I lived in Italy for a year, love Venice and the clever juxtaposition of the two family members lives being tied together generations apart was done fairly well and the vehicle was good. If you like romances and a little historical fiction, you will enjoy very much. The history of the glassblowers was the most intriguing part, I thought.
What didn't I like? I didn't really like the heroine of the book, and those kinds of books are always hard sells. I never really connected to her and didn't really ever feel bad for her. I think it is just a character development issue for me. Her fish out of water story wasn't from her living in a new place, it was because she gets shunned at the workplace? She spends time telling us about the mother and her relationship with her. Then, for someone so concerned about "family" I didn't see a mention of her calling her mother to tell her about any of her big news, though she didn't have a problem mentioning how our erstwhile detective hero called his friends right away. She's supposed to not be concerned about money after the divorce but then we find out she's relieved she's been paid so she can make one month's rent... no other mention of money in the whole thing.
Do I want to spend a whole book with someone I wouldn't like very much at a dinner party? As far as I could tell, Nora's only redeeming quality was that she was pretty and could decorate an apartment... interesting tidbits, but not a fleshed out person for me to like.
Yes, yes, if the writing is good enough, the character development is good, the story is good... here, the writing was decent in parts, the story was good in parts, except just when I was getting ready to keep reading, I kept getting distracted by the break-out italicized thought quotes that were thrown in. The way I read-and I'm a fairly fast reader-made me stop this book a couple times and put it aside to read something else because I would stop and slow down so often in order to read the quote bubbles. If Marina had just told me what they were thinking in the text, I would have been happier. Again, maybe not an issue for everyone.
Enough of this story stuck for me, in the end I would say that especially if historical romance is your deal, then read it. For me, I'm going to wait to see what Fiorata Marina comes out with next... with such smart ideas to anchor the book, I think practice with her writing will only make her better and I'll be willing to give her another chance.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Neither the love story nor the adventure you'd be hoping for
Alas, another historic fiction that reads as a formula. Fiorato gives some insight into Italian culture and society, but otherwise misses the exquisite beauty of glassblowing, the strength simmering within her own heroine, and originality. The plot is woman running from a legacy of the past repeats it, instead of solving her problems, dreams of man taking care of them. What's unfortunate is that there is a story line in the book that would have been worth pursing, specifically, that of a woman glassblower with a firey independence that matched the glass she was creating. Perhaps in a sequel, Fiorato will free the character to rise to her own potential on her own merits.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 1, 2009
I was disappointed.
Both the jacket preview and illustration led me to expect something more from this novel than it delivered. The historical setting is drawn moderately well, although not in a way that made me feel immersed in its time. I don't wish to be too negative, because I might have enjoyed this more if I hadn't read it after two beautifully written, highly original novels: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2011
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Posted April 14, 2012
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Posted April 30, 2011
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