Sunday 19 October 2008

The Glassblower of Murano by Marina Fiorato

I needed a break from thinking and this book was given to me by my friend Jane when she took my to the hospital for my back surgery. And after the intellectual challenge of Midnight's Children I needed a brain vacation. This novel was just what the doctor ordered.

Set in Venice and alternating between now and the middle ages, a woman runs away from a broken marriage to find her ancestor's stories in the winding alleys and canals of Venice. Venice has never been my favourite city for far too many reasons to list here including a rather messy break up of a long term relationship. I've always thought this a wee bit unfair to Venice and have fancied giving it another chance at redemption.

Not sure this book convinced me it was worth a repeat journey. Whilst the story is easy to read it just doesn't hang together and there is a definite false mysterious urgency.

Clearly the author has done loads of research about the art of glassblowing and she evoked lovely images of the intricate process passed down through generations of Murano artisans. But the story is false and the main character, whose name already eludes my memory, makes absolutely no lasting impression of being someone I would want to read about.

Skip it unless you seriously need something to carry down to the beach or to get you through a rather frightening hospital appointment. In those cases, this is a jolly read.

Pages = 365 of very large print and even wider margins.

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