From the blurb:
1681. Glassblowing is the lifeblood of the Republic and Venetian mirrors are more precious than gold. Jealously guarded by the murderous Council of Ten, the glassblowers of Murano are virtually imprisoned on their island in the lagoon.
But the greatest artist of their number, Corradino Manin, sells his methods and his soul to the Sun King, Louise XIV of France, to protect his secret daughter . . . Centuries later his descendant, Nora Manin, escapes an unhappy life in London, determined to apprentice as a glassblower in the city of her ancestors. Passionate and gifted, her famous family name places her in danger within the ancient foundries when timeless rivalries rise to the surface. As she finds new life and love in Venice, Nora’s fate becomes inextricably linked with that of Corradino as the treacherous secrets of his life come to light.
As soon as I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read it, because the setting – Venice – mirrors that for my own recent romance novel, The Echoes of Love; and it’s one of my favourite places in the world and most certainly a perfect backdrop for intrigue and romance.
I loved this book. Loved it! It’s one of those books that you want to start reading again no sooner have you finished reading it.
The writing is beautiful – so carefully crafted and melodious and wonderfully descriptive, really transporting me to the Venice of today and of the seventeenth century.
I loved both the plot lines, and how superbly the author interweaves them. Plenty of mystery and drama is created by the historic storyline, and the modern-day one is full of emotion and need and passion.
The characters are true to life – flawed but likeable. I was especially moved by the characterisation of Corradino; I’d have loved more detail on his own love affair.
The historical and cultural references are fascinating. I especially loved the detail on Murano glassblowing, and the connecting of fiction to fact, such as in Corradino’s creation of the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles.
Overall, this is a book to read if you love:
1) well-researched historical fiction with plenty of detail;
2) high romance with plenty of passion;
3) a touch of family drama; and
4) Venice – this book will take you there and leave you itching to book a flight to the city of love!
The Glassblower of Murano is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.