The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato
This book has everything that my mom loved in a book. There's a historical story and a plot in present time and each tale is told in alternating chapters. There's a mystery that our character in the present is trying to solve, and at the same time we as a reader get to see the mystery unfold as it happens in the past. My mom lent me books of the same basic plot line over and over throughout the years, so it's somewhat fitting that the last book she lent me before she passed away follow this formula.
Here, the past is Venice in the last 1600s. We meet a famous glassblower who may (or may not) have been a traitor to the city and helped the French build the hall of mirrors at Versailles. In the present we follow Leonora Manin, and Englishwoman who goes to Venice in hopes of becoming a glassblower.
I really wanted to enjoy this one, but I just couldn't get into it. I think maybe the sentiment behind the book, distracted me from the actual story and I just couldn't connect to the actual characters. I felt like time, in the present sections especially, seemed to be off. It seemed months would pass for the character between chapters, yet it was never actually mentioned, and it was difficult to have a bearing on the actual timeline of events. I did like the historical chapters more, and think if this was only a historical novel, it may have worked better.
I do think this book had a lot of potential, and I'm a little disappointed that I didn't enjoy it more. I have to assume that my mom really liked it, otherwise she probably wouldn't have passed it on to me. So if you do decide to pick this one up, hopefully your experience with it is closer to my mother's.
Today I'm linking up with Blonde Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday!
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