Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Girl in the Glass

by Susan Meissner
Colorado Springs, CO : WaterBrook Press, 2012.

*NOTE: This review refers to the book I received through LibraryThing Early Reviewers. As per the rules, I receive a free book in return for a review, and whether it's positive or negative has no affect on my receiving books in the future.*

Margaret has always dreamed of going to Florence, and her dad promised her nonna that he would bring her there someday. At the age of thirty, Meg is still waiting for her father to take that trip, though her parents are long divorced and he isn't known for following through on her promises. While working for a travel publisher, one of the writers in Florence sends Meg some chapters of a book that his neighbor, Sofia, has written. Meg is entranced by the book, in which the woman claims that she is a Medici, and one of her ancestors speaks to her through the art in Florence.

I've liked the two novels I've read by Susan Meissner - The Shape of Mercy and The Girl in the Glass. They're technically Christian fiction, but there's no real "message" and the Christianity isn't heavy-handed, so I would easily recommend her books to people who enjoyed gentle reads and didn't mind a brief mention of God and/or prayer. This story was full of peaks and valleys for me. I enjoyed the writing and descriptions, especially of Florence and its art. I enjoyed the memories of Nora Orsini, the Medici ancestor that Sofia hears, interspersed between chapters purposefully. I had a harder time with some of the plot points that were revealed later in the story, mainly because some revelations stretched my credulity and I personally had a hard time reconciling explanations from the beginning of the book with those revelations at the end. Still, it was a captivating enough story that I want to go visit Florence and read more about Renaissance history and the Medicis.

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