Sunday, February 28, 2010

Book Review: The Secret of The Glass, Donna Russo Morin

Right from the start I knew I would be interested in reading THE SECRET OF THE GLASS. How could I pass up a novel on fabulous 17 c Venice and the art of glassmaking? I was hooked from the beginning. Sophia Fiolario, the eldest of Zeno Fiolario’s three daughters, learned the secret of this art.

Taught by her father, and with his comsent, Sophia dared to create the glass- but at a very dangerous price. Women were banned from working the glass and anyone discovered of doing so would risk imprisonment or worse. When Zeno is no longer lucid enough to continue his practice, Sophia worked ‘underground’ to keep the business going. Noone knew.

Betrothed against her will to the arrogant, cold, poor- but of noble class, Pasquale, Sophia is torn by the thought of what wil happen to her sisters, mother and grandmother if her father passes away. Happiness is only a distant dream…until Teodoro comes into the picture. Will Sophia keep her secret? Will the women in her family end up in convents? Will her soul perish muffled in a life of bondage? What will happen when Zeno dies?

The book immediately begins with detailed historical information and luscious descriptions of Venice. Now I know that this can sometimes drag a book, but in my case, I appreciated the details and found it most interesting. I love everything Venetian, and just can’t get enough- and this book certainly gave me my fill. I think this is what I loved best about the book. I pictured every single calle and palazzos in my mind. I never knew that there was a golden book listing all the nobles of Venice. Even Veronica Franco makes an appearance! But, best of all- I loved learning the details of the glass making process and all the politics behind it. This truly was a secret world guarded with their lives.

THE SECRET OF THE GLASS had me dreaming of Venice. If you’re as passionate about the place as I am, you will enjoy reading this tale of romance, picturesque history and the shaping of a great republic ruled by the Doges. And, if you know some Italian, it’s a bonus! This book is filled with the language. As for myself though, I was a bit disappointed that in those instances the Veneto dialect wasn’t used; which would have given the novel more life and flair.

I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of Donna Russo Morin’s work.


BurtonReview said...

Tee Hee.. the author is probably scratching her head .. some didn't like the Italian words, and you are asking for Venetian dialect as well. Goes to show how everyone is different and the most one can hope for is an overall enjoyable book. Thanks for your review Lucy, I am glad you liked it, Ms. Connoisseur of Venice.

Tudor Daughter said...

Great review Lucy~I adore the Italian language.

vvb32 reads said...

sounds like a good one. i love millefiori beads.
btw: you've been awarded ;-D

Michelle Stockard Miller said...

I had a feeling you would like this one Lucy! Kind of an oxy-moron huh?! I for one will not have a problem with the Italian language used in the book. To me, it seems like it would make it more historically authentic. I noticed that you were missing the Veneto dialect in the book. Do you speak Italian and Veneto? I know your grandmother lived in Italy, if I remember correctly.

Anyway, great review! I really can't wait to get my hands on this one. =O)

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