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This review is from: The Glassblower of Murano (Kindle Edition)
Many books I've read recently seem to have been set in a dual timeframe with a historical timeframe being brought to life by a parallel modern day tale; The Glassblower of Murano is one such book.
The novel opens in 17th Centure Venice with Corradino Manin returning to Venice with the knowledge that he is about to die, he is shortly stabbed in the back by one of his own blades. The story of Corradino is then told to us following his life from when he was a small child and then tracing the actions which have led to the point of his death. The modern day story follows Leonora Manin, a descendent of Corradino who has moved to Venice following the breakdown of her marriage.
The story line of this book was very good and I did enjoy it, however, I felt that for much of the time Marino Florato was trying too hard. I think that if she relaxed a bit more and let the writing flow more naturally the book would be a more enjoyable read, instead I felt that she was trying to make this into a literary novel by trying to emulate the written language of the 17th Century. Due to the writing style that I struggled to read this book, it took me over two weeks (which for me is a ridiculously long time) and I did get to the stage where I was getting so frustrated that I almost abandoned it.
I never formed a bond with either of the main characters which is also unusual for me, I enjoy reading as I love to get lost in someone else's world and this never happened with this book, I found that I didn't really care what happened to either of them.
Another frustrating thing about the book is how the timelines shifted in a way that implied the author had forgotten what point they were at; a pregnancy is just announced and then the months in between are passed over in a sentence; Corradino is to have his daughter join him in a month and then suddenly this changes to 12 months but with no explanation. Simple inconsistencies like this I found to be quite irritating and I ended up having to look at the earlier sections of the book questioning what I had previously read (not easy when reading this on a Kindle).
One the plus side, I thought the last quarter of the book picked up a lot and I enjoyed this far more than the earlier sections, it came full circle and had closure on all of the separate threads, although this did also mean that the ending was quite predictable I (admittedly we already knew what happened to Corradino).
This isn't going to go down as one of the best books that I've read this year but it wasn't that bad that I wouldn't consider another of Floprato's books as I'm hoping that with experience she'll relax more and future works will be more enjoyable.