Sisters of Glass
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Sisters of Glass

3.21 of 5 stars 3.21  ·  rating details  ·  261 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Maria is the younger daughter of an esteemed family on the island of Murano, the traditional home for Venetian glassmakers. Though she longs to be a glassblower herself, glassblowing is not for daughters—that is her brother's work. Maria has only one duty to perform for her family: before her father died, he insisted that she be married into the nobility, even though her o...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published March 27th 2012 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
I visited the Island of Murano twice in my life and the only word I can use to describe what I saw there is magic. It is a small place with a huge soul, so when I noticed Sisters of Glass on Netgalley and realized what it’s about, I jumped at the chance to read it. I felt that the spirit and the mentality of the place were captured exceptionally well.

Like her father before her, Maria has never left the island of Murano. She adores her family’s glassblowing business and has every intention of wo...more
Jo
2.5 stars rounded down because I'm feeling crotchety.

I picked up this book because I was told it was written in verse.
Also because of the cover because I'm a fickle, fickle reader who only likes the pretty things in life.

To me, this book wasn't written in verse.

It was basically
normal prose which was
actually quite lovely to read
but just set out
in this way
so it looks
like people think
poetry should look
like.

Also,
there was so much dialogue
that many of the "poems"
consisted of
people just
having a
chin...more
Krystle
I got the shock of my book reading day when I opened this up and found that it was in verse. Now I’m really picky about things in verse because I don’t have the patience, usually, to try and figure out obscure references and metaphors even though I love the descriptive imagery. Well, this book can be called the poser verse book. It’s actually not even verse! It’s more like normal prose split up into fancy lines to make it seem like verse. All it does is take up more page space and make the book...more
Vidya-BooksAreMagic
Giovanna and Maria are the two daughters of the prestigious glass-blowing family of Murano, the home of glass-makers. When their father died, he mentioned his last wish for their second daughter, Maria, to be married to a noble man. So, Giovanna was left with no dowry, while Maria was made to learn the ways to be a lady and to marry a noble man. Maria, although not wishing for any of this, had accepted to be her fate..until she falls for someone else, who is not a noble. Maria has to work her wa...more
Nafiza
The thing is, I’m pretty certain Sisters of Glass is aimed at a younger audience and some books are tailored to meet the audience’s expectations but, because of their simplicity, unable to attract older readers. It could also be that I went into the book anticipating a complex story, full of layered interactions against the rich backdrop of historical Venice. What I got was vastly different.

I had no idea that the book was in verse form. This form automatically meant that the complexity I was exp...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Sisters of Glass was an impulse request over at Netgalley. The cover is beautiful and whimsical. That combined with the fact it's set in Venice, one of my favorite places, convinced me to request a book that did not sound like me. After seeing a couple of low reviews I felt even more duped.

However, even though Sisters of Glass is not a great book it was a pleasant read. It felt more like a novella in length. It was written in verse but the verse didn't really feel like poetry. It felt like quite...more
Amy
I did not realize that this was a book written in verse. At first I was disappointed, but it was very well done and made for a quick read. (I finished it in less than an hour).

The story was fascinating, I am not very familiar with the culture and that time period. My eyes popped when one of her suitors declared her too old, because she was 15!

I loved the chapter for her sister:

"She is a straw hat against noon glare, a melody bludgeoning night gloom. Between me and my doubts, my sister is a shore...more
Michelle, the Bookshelf Stalker
This one could have been so much better but for the writing style. It lacked depth. I flew through the book because it was written in verse. However, the characters are strong, the setting is different, and the story was sweet enough to keep me reading to the end.
Beth G.
The Barovier family furnace / has molded glass on Murano
for nearly two hundred years, since 1291 / when the Venetian government
required that all furnaces move / to my island home.



Synopsis:
When Maria was just an infant, her father declared that she would one day marry a nobleman, even though such a fate should rightfully belong to her elegant older sister, Giovanna. Maria would much rather learn to blow glass in the family fornicas, but that work is for men only, even after her father’s death an...more
Emily (Book Jems)
As seen on Ed and Em's Reviews!

Sisters of Glass was very, very short. I read it in less than two hours. Just because I read it quickly, does not mean that I enjoyed it. I liked it, yes, but I would never immediately recommend it to anyone. It's not that Sisters of Glass is a bad novel, because it's not. I just won't remember it after awhile. In my opinion, it is an easily forgotten novel.

Even now, just a few days after finishing it, I'm having trouble remember the characters' names. Besides Luca...more
Stephanie Redwine
This story is written in verse and is about a young girl whose father's dying wish was to see her married to a nobleman. Maria would rather be working with the glass that her family creates rather than learning to be a lady and attracting suitors. Maria has to work through her sisters jealousy and her mother's unending devotion to finding her a husband to find what she truly wants in life.

This is a very quick read and is able to be read in one sitting. It is written in verse so it has a nice flo...more
Jan
This novel, told in prose poems, is a historical read about two sisters who live on the island of Murano, near Venice, and are part of a renowned glassmaking family. The youngest daughter, Maria, is to marry a nobleman, per her father's last wishes. But Maria cares more about making glass than dressing up for prospective suitors. Her old sister, Giovanna, is pretty and wants nothing more than an advantageous marriage, but she is destined for the convent. This conflict puts the sisters at odds, p...more
Whitney
A story told in verse about two sisters in Renaissance-era Venice. The daughters of a prestigious glass-blowing family, Maria longs to work with the glass like her late father, but instead must marry into a well-to-do royal family, while Giovanna has no dowry and will likely end up in a convent. Maria has resigned herself to her fate until she starts to fall for Luca, a new glass blower in the family's shop.

Stephanie Hemphill has crafted a beautiful tale that captures the essence of the historic...more
Jessica
May 30, 2012 Jessica added it
Shelves: 2012, ya
This is a little gem of a verse novel set on Murano, the island of Venetian glassblowers, during the fifteenth century. It's an evocative read with some lovely details about the art of glassblowing ,and it totally made me want to visit Venice again. Maria is a sympathetic character -- elevated above her older sister by her father's dying wish for her to marry a nobleman, she only wants to continue to work in the family business. I particularly enjoyed that it's not just a boy she's pining over;...more
Rachel
The story of two sisters in Venice in the 15th century. Their father owns a -I'm sure there's a better word for this- glass blowing business. His sons and daughters participate, but his youngest is destined to marry well and assist the family fortunes. When he dies, the family feels bound by his wishes.

But the youngest lives for glass, loves the glass, doesn't want to hurt her older sister, and oops, the family had to hire a nameless apprentice to help keep things going, and my my my, he's so go...more
Nicole
I wanted to read this because I am Italian. Most of my Italian relatives live far away or are no longer with us. I wanted to be with "family" and the Olive Garden just doesn't cut it. The characters in this verse were familiar to me. I enjoyed the tradition that was presented in it as well. The ending is as lovely as the cover.
Qnpoohbear
This novel in verse tells the story of Maria Barovier, the daughter of Angelo Barovier, the inventor of cristallo (crystal). For nearly two-hundred years, since 1291, glass has been made on the island of Murano in Venice, Italy. Maria's father trained her to work in the fornica, the hot furnace where glass is made. She loves everything about the art of glass making and would love to take over the family business some day, but Maria's family has a different fate in mind for her. Maria was born th...more
Tina (yAdultReview)
Originally published at Nose in a Book

This book was written in verse, which was slightly disappointing to me, but it’s not annoying. In lieu of chapters, there are short little poems detailing all manner of things, from Maria’s father’s history to the glassblowing profession. It was incredibly easy to read, and only took me a few hours. I still remember reading a David Eddings novel where a character tells the protag “glass is just melted sand.” I never forgot that, for some reason, and glassblo...more
Elizabeth B
This book was supposedly written in verse. Don’t believe that. It’s not. It is sentences spaced out to look like verse. It’s narrative writing with intentionally bad printing skills. I make no qualms that I don’t like novels in verse but this is going to fall one step below that even because it failed at what it claimed to be. Now, onto the story itself.

Due to the nature of the “verse” there is little character development. This is a huge issue in a young adult book where the characters traits...more
Yearning To Read
Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill
Pages: 160
Release Date: March 27th, 2012
DNF date: 2012, January 17th
Received: ARC via NetGalley


SUMMARY -
(From Goodreads)
Maria is the younger daughter of an esteemed family on the island of Murano, the traditional home for Venetian glassmakers. Though she longs to be a glassblower herself, glassblowing is not for daughters—that is her brother's work. Maria has only one duty to perform for her family: before her father died, he insisted that she be married int...more
Bookworm1858
I think it has been amply recorded on my blog that I adore sister-sister relationships so it was a no-brainer to request this book after seeing the title. I didn't need to know anything else. As an additional bonus, the author and I share a first name and I have been known to read books just because of that fact (see: Stephanie Laurens, Stephanie Perkins).

Due to only looking at the cover, I wasn't sure what to expect. Imagine my surprise to discover a historical novel set in Italy told in verse....more
Krys


Sister of Glass is an upcoming March release from Random House. This book follows a period in the life of Maria Barovier, a daughter of a Murano glassblower. When she was a child her father died, leaving a contract within the family that declares Maria must marry a senator to appease his last wishes.

The plans for Maria's engagement progresses as planned. Her household is a flurry with suitors and new gowns. This provokes the ire of her sister, Giovanna, who has resigned herself to take the vows...more
Michelle
Posted on Book Chelle.

The cover for Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill is gorgeous. The doves, the glass vase, the ribbon, and the gondola. It screams romance to me. It’s different, and I think, a great representation of the book and story itself.

Sisters of Glass is a historical novel written in verse. It revolves around a family of prestigious glassblowers that live on the island of Murano. There are two sisters whose lives are disrupted by a father’s dying wish. Angelo Barovier declared th...more
ephrielle
Written similar to verse, which makes for a quick read. The story is simple and allows your imagination room to play where there is limited description. I didn't find it lacking and was able to read it in one sitting.
I enjoyed Maria, Vanna, and Luca. The two sisters are easy to understand and even trade places emotionally and physically during the book. Luca is so mysterious as well a deep. There is more than meets the eye to this one.
A great message is incorporated into this book. Maria and Van...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Having actually been to Murano, I was super excited to read this book. There's nothing better than getting to remember the awesome places I've been! What I did not know going into this book was that it was written in verse. At first, I assumed it was my lack of attention, but it's not in the description anywhere, so go forward with this knowledge as my gift to you.

Ordinarily, this would have been a revelation of tragic proportions, since I'm not typically a big fan of poetry, but I just read and...more
Mara
Cover Blurb: I like the colors and the simplicity of it; very charming and attention-grabbing.

What I Liked: The characters were all good, and for such a bloody short story, I felt that I got to know them rather well.

What I Disliked: Giovanna’s sudden meanness - and equally sudden good mood - struck me as strange. What caused her to turn so horribly against the sister that she’s always been close to and love? And why is she suddenly all buddy-buddy with her again? Maria falling for Luca can be sp...more
Shaz Goodwin
Sisters of Glass begins with the history of the Barovier family furnace and the family background. Having once been the only family to have created Cristallo, once the secret was out, all major furnaces used the secret recipe and this affected the family’s social standing.

Even after the death of Maria’s father she was allowed to help in the furnace but the changes start happening in her (and subsequently Giovanna’s life) once she is being groomed for marriage to a nobleman. Luc, the orphaned gla...more
Mark
"Learning to be a lady
is like learning
to live within a shell,
to be a crustacean encased
in a small white
uncomfortable world.
You hear the ocean
whirl about you
but feel not the wet
nor ride the wave
nor see the sun.

Bedded on the sand,
protected from harm
with the other fair dainty shells,
all safely collected
so no damage be done
to precious contents.
I cannot venture outside my cage,
cannot dirty my gloves."

Set in the 15th century, on the island of Murano, near Venice, this verse novel is narrated by Maria,...more
Celine
I will preface this review by saying that I know absolutely nothing about poetry. When I hear about famous poets I say "I must read those some time!" but as you all know, I never do. I know they're those strange people that don't fill the page like normal writers do, and sometimes just put maybe two or three words on a single page. They can ramble on about an old shoe and their work will be called a masterpiece. I don't get poetry at all.

That being said, I enjoyed reading Sisters of Glass. The...more
Rebecca
Fifteen-year-old Maria is the younger daughter from a family of glassblowers in fifteenth-century Italy. Because of the cost of dowries, often a family can only afford for one of their daughters to be married, and the tradition is that that will be the oldest daughter. But in Maria's father's will, he left instructions that Maria should be the one to marry a nobleman, rather than her older sister, Giovanna. Although they are sisters and are very close, Maria and Giovanna could not be more differ...more
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JPL YA Reading Ch...: Verse novel:Sisters of Glass 2 6 Apr 23, 2013 05:57AM  
  • Spy for the Queen of Scots
  • The Hangman in the Mirror
  • The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind
  • Cross My Heart (Cross My Heart, #1)
  • Hollyweird
  • The Little Woods
  • Ladies in Waiting
  • Breathing Room
  • Fall from Grace
  • Child of the Mountains
  • The Académie
  • Poison Most Vial: A Mystery
  • Violins of Autumn
  • A Thunderous Whisper
  • Ring of Secrets (The Culper Ring, #1)
  • The Wild Book
  • Jump into the Sky
  • By the River
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Stephanie Hemphill's first novel in poems, Things Left Unsaid, was published by Hyperion in 2005 and was awarded the 2006 Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Excellence in Poetry by the Children's Literature Council of Southern California.

Her second novel, a verse portrait of Sylvia Plath, Your Own, Sylvia was published by Knopf in March 2007. A third novel in verse for teens, Wicked Girls, a verse st...more
More about Stephanie Hemphill...
Wicked Girls Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath Things Left Unsaid: A Novel in Poems Hideous Love: The Story of the Girl Who Wrote Frankenstein Easy

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“Learning to be a lady / is like learning / to live within a shell, / to be a crustacean encased / in a small white / uncomfortable world.” 6 likes
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