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The glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato
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The glassblower of Murano (edition 2009)

by Marina Fiorato

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5207619,468 (3.39)50
Member:tmbcoughlin
Title:The glassblower of Murano
Authors:Marina Fiorato
Info:New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2009.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

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  1. 00
    The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both books involve a young woman escaping romantic tragedy and traveling to Italy, where she has family history.
  2. 00
    The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich (tesskrose)
  3. 00
    The Glass Painter's Daughter by Rachel Hore (tesskrose)
    tesskrose: Similar themes in the glass artisan industry
  4. 00
    The Secret of the Glass by Donna Russo Morin (joririchardson)
    joririchardson: Both books are about female glassblowers and are set in Renaissance Murano, Venice.
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Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
This book is a little slow going but if you can get beyond the first couple of chapters it is definitely worth it. I really enjoyed the whole premise of the story - a woman, Nora/Leonora goes through a divorce after her husband leaves her because they weren't able to conceive (he left her to go to another woman who got pregnant right away) and rather than stay and watch she decides to make the spontaneous decision to go to Venice where she was born and start a new life, blowing glass like her famous ancestors.

There are a lot of things in this book I liked. I found the main character extremely likeable - her reasons for wanting to change her life, the insecurities, the desires she has is something that resonates with me and rather than rolling my eyes when she falls pregnant, I couldn't help but feel nothing but happiness for her because it wasn't an over-blown, dramatic 'it's a miracle' situation but just something that happened and for me, it was handled perfectly.

The story of her looking for her place in life - from trying to find out about her ancestors and reconciling his history with her own is handled well. We find out his story throughout with chapters dedicated to what really happened inter-cut with the modern tales and both stories are well written and engrossing.

The love story doesn't over-shadow anything, but you still find yourself rooting for success and wishing for a little more development in terms of Allesandro's character as he proves to be a pretty central figure to Leonora's story. What little we got with him was good (I especially liked their confrontation near the end, and their visiting of the cemetery together) but I almost felt that as 'the love interest' that he almost could have been given more to do in certain parts of the book.

I could have given this five stars because I really did enjoy it, but I downgraded it one because of the slow start and the fact that some storylines felt a little rushed at the end. Leonora's rival at the glass factory attacks her then tries to destroy her career by selling a story to Allesandro's ex but then disappears. Vittoria, Alesandro's ex, interviews Leonora at one stage in the book and realises she's in a relationship with Alesandro and makes the villainess vow of 'stealing' him back, but again that storyline is not mentioned again. There are just little things that make me almost wish there had been 50 pages more just to flesh certain things out. Regardless, it's a petty grip as it is worth reading and if you enjoy aspects of history combined with the modern then it should be right up your alley. Well worth a read, I think. ( )
  sunnycouger | Sep 20, 2013 |
This is a great premise for a book. I was really looking forward to reading about renaissance Venice and the glassblowers. Unfortunately, I found it to be pretty poorly executed and in places hugely far-fetched with some plot holes you could practically walk through.
By the end it had almost turned into one massive cliche. I found it all the more disappointing because it had the potential to be so good. ( )
  cathymoore | Sep 16, 2013 |
I saw this book at the airport on Sunday and it was bought and read by the following Wednesday. That is a minor miracle that could have only been possible if someone else bought it and someone else did! She, then, let me read it first. A true friend!

This is the story of a woman who changes her life by going back to her roots - roots she new barely anything about. A sudden turn of events in Nora's life, which, thankfully, the author deals with quickly and succinctly, leads her to Venice and a new life following in the footsteps of her ancestors.

The story does not blather on about how Nora's mother feels about the Venice connection or too much about Bruno. The amount that is included is just enough to give the reader the background that s/he needs to move on in the story without detracting from the main event.

In Venice, Nora returns to her given name, Leonora, and with it a whole new life. This story isn't written in a straight line and there are twists and turns along the way.

One of the appealing aspects is the reach back to the past where the author tells the story of Corradino in alternative chapters, in a flashback sort of way. In a way this method is like reading two stories at once. I liked that the author dealt with the mistakes that people made.

This book has a great tone and the characters seems real -- not perfect robots that seem so frequent in some fiction lately. This is definitely a book I would like to read again. ( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
I got a couple of chapters into this and realised it wouldn't be anything new. The story of the glassblower's life could have been interesting, but the modern Leonora's life was so much cliché and drew so much on people's perceptions of Venice as a beautiful and romantic place and blah blah blah. The parallel stories, modern and ancient, is a device that's been used a thousand times before.

And the writing itself is truly indifferent. I don't think I read anything with even a spec of originality. The use of italics is irritating and lazy. None of it made me care in any way.

I was, at least, entertained by the fact that apparently I know Venice quite well through playing Assassin's Creed 2, and that I understood the snippets of Italian in the same way. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
The story and writing was good with a lovely setting. Unfortunately, it seemed that what should have been the major elements (relationships, research, apprenticeship) were only glossed over, never really explored and therefore not really believable. Also it seemed the action was stretched out to coincided with holidays.

Lastly, my edition was an audiobook from Audible. The intermission music was much louder than the spoken parts, a bit jarring. ( )
  Manyra | Apr 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Marina Fioratoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boer, Ernst deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Klootwijk, AnkieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
For Conrad, Ruby and, most of all, Sacha; you are all in this book somewhere.
First words
As Corradino Manin looked on the lights of San Marco for the last time, Venice from the lagoon seemed to him a golden constellation in the dark blue velvet dusk.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Leonora moves
To Venice in the footsteps
Of her ancestor.
(passion4reading)
Famous glassblower
Of Murano: ancestor
of Leonora.
(passion4reading)
Insipid romance
Pales against historical
Account of Venice.
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 3 descriptions)

Venice, 1681. Glassblowing is the lifeblood of the Republic, and Venetian mirriors are more precious than gold. Jealously guarded by the murderous Council of Ten, the glassblowers of Murano are virutally imprisoned on their island in the lagoon. But the greatest of the artists, Corradino Manin, sells his methods and his soul to Louis XIV of France to protect his secret daughter. In the present day, his descendent, Leonara Manin, leaves London for a new life as a glassblower in Venice -- only to find her fate inextricably linked with her ancestor's dangerous secrets--Cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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