8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
There's a good story hiding in here,
This review is from: The Glassblower of Murano (Paperback)
After the breakdown of her marriage in England, Leonora flees to Venice, the city of her father and his forebears, to follow in the footsteps of her ancestor, the greatest glassblower of the Renaissance. Eventually she succeeds in achieving professional success as an artist and finding love with a man who accepts her for who she is.
The feeling I was left with after having finished the book was mainly one of annoyance: there's a good novel hiding in here but unfortunately it was spoiled by a rather pale and disengaging story about the present-day heroine and some unfortunate editing mistakes.
Contrary to one reviewer, I found the opposing storylines between Leonora and her ancestor quite successful, one mirroring the other centuries apart. I loved the well-researched historical detail of Venice in the 17th century and the glassblowing industry on Murano although I doubt very much that The Ten would have been capable of their final act of mercy towards Corradino, i.e. sparing his daughter's life; but I was disappointed that the present-day action was so predictable and, as one reviewer called it, "trite". I found the repeated references to Leonora's resemblance to Botticelli's Primavera grating, especially as she then started a relationship with the equally impossibly beautiful Alessandro, and didn't really care about her trials and tribulations as the first female glassblower on Murano. Corradino came across as a flawed genius but at least as a human being whereas Leonora remained pale and never truly came alive to me, almost as two-dimensional as the painting she so much resembles. On top of that came some mistakes which should have been spotted by the proof reader and which rather spoiled the flow of the narration: the confusion between ancestor and descendant, the timeline of Leonora's arrival in Venice, the first symptoms of pregnancy and the birth, the contradiction in terms of Corradino's arrival in Paris and the plan to bring his daughter to France in one month and then one year, and the repeated occurrences of candlebra (candelabra) and chestspoons ("Then your heart and chestspoon and arms."), to name but a few.
On the whole I'd say this was a book for a long-haul flight or the sun lounger on the beach where one isn't required to pay too much attention to the words, or as I like to call it, "literature lite".