Friday, October 18, 2013

The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

Paperback: 334 pages
Genre: Fiction
Publisher:  WaterBrook Press 2012

Source:  The author in return for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentence: Prologue: The sun is setting on my last day in Florence.

Favourite Quote: 'Renaissance is a word with hope infused in every letter.' 
Review Quote: “Meissner delivers a delightful page-turner that will surely enthral readers from beginning to end. The antebellum details, lively characters, and overlapping dramas particularly will excite history buffs and romance fans.” Publisher’s Weekly
My Opinion: A clever mix of historical and contemporary.

When I was asked if I was interested in reading and reviewing this novel, as an Italophile I was absolutely delighted to do so. Always interested in reading a novel set in Italy this did not disappoint, although I have yet to meet a real life Italian that drinks cappucini after midday. It was difficult to decide what genre this should be placed in as it is part historical fiction and part contemporary and as such will appeal to a wide cross section of readers. 

Susan Meissner has skilfully intertwined the historical story of a real Medici with her contemporary characters. Three women from different generations Nora, Meg and Sofia are the protagonists in this complex but still very easy to read novel. Nora Orsini is a Medici princess from the sixteenth century whose story is told in brief chapters amongst the contemporary ones, which feature Meg an editor with a travel publisher and Sofia an idiosyncratic author whose work has been drawn to Meg's attention.
The story opens in San Diego, USA where Meg feels her life is not living up to her dream, possibly due to the uneasy relationships she has with her divorced parents. Since she was a child her father has been promising her a trip to Florence, Italy so that she can see for herself the beauty of a place she always been familiar with through a painting belonging to her grandmother. It starts to look as if her dream might actually come true when her father tells her to book the trip.
Meg sets off for Florence to discover if the experience will solve her relationship issues with her father, but things do not work out quite as expected.  As she explores the rich history of this beautiful city the stunning art and architecture she is surrounded by make her realise that her perspective on her own life is seriously adrift. To discover what happens to her expectations of those around her and her dreams you will have to read this delightful exploration of disillusionment.

Author Profile

Susan Meissner was born in San Diego, California, USA in 1961 the second of three children.  She attended Point Loma College in San Diego, and married her husband, Bob, who is now an associate pastor and a chaplain in the Air Force Reserves, in 1980. 

When she is not working on a new novel, she is directing the Small Groups and Connection Ministries programme at The Church at Rancho Bernardo, in San Diego where she lives with her husband and four adult children. She also enjoy teaching workshops on writing and dream-following, spending time with her family, music, reading  and travelling.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the author's publicist and following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing. 

Goodreads Author Profile    Susan Meissner - Author Official Website    Amazon Author Profile
Susan Meissner - Facebook     Twitter - SusanMeissner

I am linking this review to Art @ Home - Literary Friday


  1. Hi Linda. I absolutely loved Florence when I travelled there a few years ago. As you know, any book to do with Italy in its background is a must for me. This one sounds like a book I would really enjoy reading. It has definitely gone onto my TBR list!! Thank you for the review my friend.

    1. Maybe I should be feeling guilty about your growing TBR pile as it seems I keep tempting you. I don't though as one of the points of writing these reviews is to encourage others to read the books I have enjoyed. :)

  2. Good afternoon, Linda! It has made my weekend that you've linked-up. I was fortunate to tour Italy three times, and my favorite Italian city is Florence. I think I'd love this book! I tend to enjoy books that are contemporary with historical back stories (The Tenth Gift is one of my favorites).

    Thanks for the lovely review!

    Ricki Jill

    1. If Firenze is your favourite Italian city, then 'The Girl in The Glass' is one for you. I enjoyed linking up and hope to do so on a more regular basis.

  3. I will definitely put this on my list to read. I love any book written with Italy as the setting. I haven't been able to get on your blogs in awhile and I have missed so much. Please write me an email that I can write back to you. Sweet hugs, Diane

  4. Great to have you here, yes this definitely one for Italophiles. I am sorry to her you have been having trouble with getting on to my blogs, is this a time issue or a technical one? If you continue to have problems I do now have pages on Facebook.


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