Friday, October 18, 2013
The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner
Paperback: 334 pages
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.
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