#173 ~ The Glassblower of Murano


The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

During the 17th century, Venice was the world leader in glassblowing.  The acheivements made in Venice were envied – so much so that the Council of Ten guarded the glassblowing masters.  Corradino Manin was the most talented of all glassblowers and the Council virtually held him hostage on the island of Murano.  Still, King Louis XIV was able to get a messager to him, tempting him to come to France to work on his palace.  If he does so, it might cost him his daughter Leonora, who is being raised at the Pieta because she was born of an affair.  Fast forward to modern England.  Leonora Manin, a young artist born to an English mother and a Venetian father, travels to Venice after a painful divorce.  She has recently discovered a love for blowing glass, just like her ancestor Corradino.  She longs to find out more about her famous ancestor and hopes to find work as a glassblower.  In Venice, Leonora finds herself while learning some things about her family’s past could destroy her future.

venetianglasschandelierI enjoyed The Glassblower of Murano, but it wasn’t an earthshattering read for me.  It makes for a light summer read, and it seemed to kick me out of the painfully slow reading funk I was in over the month prior.  The story is told through two narrators: Corradino and Leonora.  As Leonora learns little pieces about her ancestor, we get to read them from Corradino’s perspective.  In many ways, Leonora’s story is typical chick-lit fair.  Her relationship with Alessandro was predictable, right down to the fairy tale ending. Still, it was told well.  For me, Corradino’s story made the book.  It was interesting seeing glassblowing, Venice, and Venetian political corruption through his eyes.  One of my favorite scenes was when he transported and installed his glass chandelier at the Pieta.  I really had no idea of glassblowing’s rich history.  I would suggest this novel when you want something comfortable to read that has a little historical fiction thrown in the mix.


ltearlyreviewerLibraryThing‘s Early Reviewer program.  A special thanks to both LibraryThing and St. Martin’s Press for giving me the opportunity to read this novel.

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  • Getting lost in Venice’s web of history (nationalpost.com)
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  • At 2009.06.13 21:10, Holly said:

    Terrific, honest review. Having visited Venice and Murano, I’ve wanted to read this.

    • At 2009.06.13 21:28, Kathy said:

      I’m a little disappointed to see that this book wasn’t earth shattering – from the title and synopsis, I was expecting it to be fantastic. I’m glad you enjoyed it, though.

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      • At 2009.06.14 03:12, heidenkind said:

        I’ve been interested in this one, since I love books about Venice. But it sounds like a meh read to me. I might borrow it from the library.

        • At 2009.06.14 07:07, Sandy said:

          I tend to like a little twist or two with my books, but it does sound like you would at least pick up a few interesting facts about glass blowing, which I find fascinating!

          • At 2009.06.14 08:53, Wisteria said:

            Thanks for your frank and honest review. I would follow your advice and read it for the history perhaps. It looked interesting to me when I read about this book when it was offered by the ER program. I won another book instead. I invited you as a friend on LT but I use the name loves2read. I’d love to hook-up there.

            Wisteria’s last blog post..Sunday Salon-June 14, 2009-Flag Day

            • At 2009.06.14 15:29, nat @ book, line, and sinker said:

              drat. i wanted this to be a top-ten best book ever because of the cover and subject matter! i still am going to read it because i love all things italy. maybe i’ll give it to my auntie for her birthday…in an italy themed basket or something…

              thanks for the honest review. 🙂

              nat @ book, line, and sinker’s last blog post..Staking Your Claim: Do you label your books?

              • At 2009.06.19 13:05, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

                Yah, that’s about what I’ve heard about this book, decent, not great. Would you compare it to that Venetian Masks book, or whatever it was called, from last year?

                Jen – Devourer of Books’s last blog post..The Unit – Book Review

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                • At 2009.06.22 19:14, Diane said:

                  This sounds like a great one. Thanks
                  .-= Diane´s last blog .. =-.

                  • At 2011.01.26 15:00, faire part naissance said:

                    do you know if a french version of this book exist ?

                    • At 2012.07.18 12:28, jeu de barbie said:

                      Thanks for your article, like the other comment do you have a frenc version? It will be great

                      (Required, will not be published)

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