Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

I received this book as a part of LibraryThing's Early Reviewer program. It will be available in the United States in June of this year.

The premise of this book is that Leonora Manin travels from England to the city of her birth, Venice, to start a new life. Her goal is a job on Murano as a glassblower. Her personal life becomes linked with her ancestor, Corradino Manin, through her profession, coworkers, and the city itself. Learning about his past becomes an obsession for Leonora that could jeopardize the life she's begun in Venice.

I know next to nothing about Venice or glassblowing, which made this book all the more fascinating. The scenery is alive and vibrant in Fiorato's writing. Corradino and his plight are portrayed realistically and convincingly. Leonora, however, seemed to me to be vapid. The stereotypes that she played out made me want to throw the book away in disgust.

If you can ignore the cliched romance-drama in the present-day chapters, the historical fiction aspects of this book are well worth it.

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