Customer Reviews for

The Glassblower of Murano

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Marina Florato provides a strong thriller

In 1681 in the Republic of Venice, glassblowing is the major industry; throughout the continent everyone especially the wealthy demands Venetian glass and mirrors. The Council of Ten controls the city-state's glassblowing guild to the point they will kill to keep scabs...
In 1681 in the Republic of Venice, glassblowing is the major industry; throughout the continent everyone especially the wealthy demands Venetian glass and mirrors. The Council of Ten controls the city-state's glassblowing guild to the point they will kill to keep scabs out. The most famous Venetian artist Corradino Manin is forced to sell his secret methods to French King Louis XIV in order to keep his hidden daughter safe though by doing so the cost is his heart and soul.--------

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.-

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on May 5, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

enjoyable, well-researched historical mysery

I've been lucky enough to have been to Italy, seen glassblowers in action (if you're ever in Vermont, try and see the glassblowing demonstrations at Simon & Pearce at The Mill in Quechee) and be familiar with the singular glass that comes from the isle of Murano. So, I ...
I've been lucky enough to have been to Italy, seen glassblowers in action (if you're ever in Vermont, try and see the glassblowing demonstrations at Simon & Pearce at The Mill in Quechee) and be familiar with the singular glass that comes from the isle of Murano. So, I anticipated with pleasure this book that, on top of being touted as a historical mystery also blended in contemporary romance. I was in the mood.

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, 2009

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  • Posted October 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Evokes past and present Venice!

    Marina Fiorata's novel, The Glassblower of Murano, plunges the reader into Venetian history through the eyes of a descendant from 400 years of glassblowers. Two characters grab the reader's attention. One is Corradino Manin, a man who sells his techniques to Louis XIV to protect his 'orphan' daughter, living at the Pieta. The other is Leonora Manin who in the present day travels to a new life as a glassblower in the city of her birth.
    The author depicts Venice as the beautiful yet seamy lady she is-the constant lapping of the water, the pastel wedding cake houses, the glory of San Marco, the palace of the Doge and much more with concrete, specific details that make the story come alive. Venice portrays a shadowy character in the novel.
    The shifts between three periods of history--Corradino Manin from Venice's distant past, Corradino Manin, the present day Leonora's grandfather; Leonora, the secret daughter of the Corradino of the past, and Leonora, the present day glassblower-occur without clear demarcation. Headings noting the date would easily fix this problem. The similarity of the names compounds the confusion.
    The author obviously put a lot of time and attention into researching Venice's past and brings Venice to life in the novel, showing both the crude and enchanting sides of a fascinating city. Towards the end of the novel, the tempo accelerates to the breakneck pace of a thriller and I could not stop turning the pages. A patient reader will find a lovely, determined woman, richly characterized figures from the past and a wonderful romance. For lovers of historical novels and exotic places, this is a great read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2012

    Keeps you reading

    I thought that this was a great book. The first book by this author is a more suspensful read but this one was really good too. I had to keep reading to see what happened!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Good book

    I actually got this as "free Friday" book and wasn't expecting much but it turned out to be a really enjoyable read. The characters and setting are very interesting. Good book.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Venice, historical and modern

    Interesting dual plot. It helps to have an understanding of Venice when reading this book. I found the beginning difficult because I'm not familiar with Venice. It lead me to want to know more about Venice's history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2009

    "Glassblower of Murano" is a romantic story of historic Venice

    Marina Fiorato has crafted a fascinating story of the glassblowing art told through the eyes of two talented glassblowers of Murano--one who lived during the time of the Doges, and the other his descendant in modern Venice. The descriptions of Venice are rich in detail and the life stories of the characters compellingly told.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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