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The Glassblower of Murano

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  5,245 Ratings  ·  785 Reviews
Venice, 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 of the artists, Corradino Manin, sells his methods and his soul to the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, to protect ...more
Paperback, First US Edition, 356 pages
Published May 15th 2008 by Beautiful Books (first published 2006)
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Mark Davis
May 07, 2013 Mark Davis rated it did not like it
Let me start by saying I much prefer recommending good books over warning people away from bad ones. But sometimes the only right, responsible thing to do is tell others to be wary. This is such a case.

Being a history buff with a particular interest in Venice (see John Julius Norwich for something worth your time if Venice interests you), I was looking forward to a light, historical fiction read. I was even OK with the romance angle -- the cover looked decent enough and didn't scream "stay away"
Lynne Norman
Jun 05, 2014 Lynne Norman rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-group-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2015 Beth rated it it was amazing
I really loved this book. The author artfully switches between two interwoven tales, one modern-day and the other in the 17th-century, both centered in the intriguing and romantic city of Venice, Italy. The story has a bit of everything; romance, history, art, music, murder, intrigue, sacrifice and escapism. I also really enjoyed the central theme of glassblowing, which to me is an amazing art, and made this story even more interesting. The format of this book was wonderful; the chapters are sho ...more
Oct 28, 2008 Judy rated it liked it
I seem to have read several historical novels recently which interweave a modern story with one from the past - this is another along the same lines.

The modern-day story is about an English woman, half Venetian, who moves to Venice after her marriage breaks up and starts tracing the story of her famous ancestor, a master glass-maker. She also follows in his footsteps by working for a traditional glassmaker.

It's well-written and an easy, flowing read - the historical parts are better than the mod
Oct 05, 2010 Kiersten rated it it was ok
I was drawn to this book by the promise of reading about Venice and Murano. Unfortunately, I found The Glassblower of Murano to be not so good.

First of all, there's the heroine. Leonora/Nora Manin grew up in London but was born in Venice. Her mother, an Englishwoman, we studying art abroad when she met the Titian-esque Bruno, a vaporetti driver. Of course, she immediately became pregnant, had the baby, and returned to England. Bruno, meanwhile, stayed in Venice and didn't write, ostensibly beca
Jan 25, 2016 Yasmin rated it really liked it
A very good read. It was well written with beautiful descriptions of Venice, as well as the art of glassblowing. The dual storylines were engaging and detailed, and swept you up in the story. My first read from this author and I was pleasantly surprised. I will be certainly be reading more
Aug 18, 2011 Jeane rated it it was amazing
Shelves: italy
The beauty she discovers around her, touching it, hearing it .... the knowledge that something like it exists and that it is there, where she is.
The tears it brings the realization of it existence.... she wrote so beautiful, so real... so close to how those creations make me feel
The smile it brings on your face.

That is how reading The glassblower of Murano made me feel. The story of Leonora moving to Venice to find out about her ancestors. The past and secrets of the Manin family. The beauty and
Jun 10, 2016 Princes rated it really liked it
Iako ne volim idealizirane djevojke kao ni priče sa "sladunjavim" krajem, ovom romanu ne mogu dati ništa manje od četiri zvjezdice, ako ništa zbog živopisnih opisa otoka Murana i njegove povijesti koja odiše proizvodnjom predmeta od stakla na jedinstven i sofisticiran način,tzv. puhanjem. Svidjeli su mi se i opisi Venecije, njene mračne strane u periodu godine kad se taj grad na vodi "zatvara u sebe", kad ga i turisti napuštaju. S najvećom pažnjom sam ipak čitala dio koji se odnosi na Corradina ...more
Aug 25, 2010 Lisa rated it liked it
Look, it's a romance, set in beautiful Venice. A bit of harmless escapism, which almost enabled this reader to ignore the utterly unbelievable plot - especially the really silly bit in the middle of the story; to forgive the predictable love interest with the obligatory potential rival thrown in, and to overlook the so-last-century view of womanhood, abandoning everything (home, friends, job etc) all for love.
дДеса (MardyBum)
В "Стъкларят от Мурано" (Марина Фиорато, "Кръгозор") става въпрос за една лондонска женичка, която след изневярата на съпруга си решава да се завърне към корените си във Венеция. Там тя, в рамките на няколко месеца (дори на авторката не е известно колко точно са те), успява да усвои езика и диалектите, да си намери апартамент и нов мъж, както и да стане маестра на стъкларите. Всичко това – без усилия, пада й от небето, като дар божи. Стягайте куфарите и беж да откривате предците си из Венеция. ...more
I received an advanced copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads.

This is a story about Nora/Leonora (present day) and her ancestor, Corradino (17th Century). Nora was born in Venice, but her mother took her to England when she was a baby. Her husband just left her for another woman (older and not as pretty), so to try and move on from the pain, she decides to return to Venice and follow in the footsteps of her ancestor to become a glassblower. Corradino was a maestro glassblower imprisone
Aug 23, 2015 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Glassblower of Murano is by Marina Fiorato. It is a mystery and a romance in beautiful Venice of today and of old. The narrator’s view goes between that of Corradino Manin of 1700’s to that of Lenora Manin of the present. Venice and the island of Murano are the settings of this wonderful novel.
Corradino Manin is the only known survivor of his family’s massacre by The Ten in Venica. He was denounced by his own brother as a traitor to Venice. As soon as he put the note in the Lion’s Mouth, Ug
J.S. Dunn
Nov 28, 2015 J.S. Dunn rated it it was ok
Never mind the glowing, capital letters on the cover that this novel was [quote] AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER. That is the first clue that something is amiss. The big phat trad publisher must have pre-ordered gazillions of copies because it's hard to believe there would be that many gullible buyers, and worldwide. Let us mourn the needless dead trees to pad the sales and tout this title.

Two stars rather than one star, only because the numerous typos and missing words (!) are not the author's faul
Nov 09, 2009 JayeL rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009, favorite
I saw this book at the airport on Sunday and it was bought and read by the following Wednesday. That is a minor miracle that could have only been possible if someone else bought it and someone else did! She, then, let me read it first. A true friend!

This is the story of a woman who changes her life by going back to her roots - roots she new barely anything about. A sudden turn of events in Nora's life, which, thankfully, the author deals with quickly and succinctly, leads her to Venice and a new
I loved the storyline! Venice in 1681, the art of glassblowing on the island of Murano and the tactics the Venetian Republic would deploy to preserve and protect the secrets of their craft - namely, restricting the movements of their gifted glassblowers - one in particular - Corradino Manin. What's not to like about the setting - it being one of the most charming and unique cities I've visited. Fast forward to current times and Corradino's descendant Leonora's life is falling apart in London. So ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Averil rated it liked it
Had this novel been set in ANY other city than my beloved Venice, I'd have rated it 2 stars - finding it rather bland and unexciting with, too often, less than adequate writing. As it is though, and penned by a half-Venetian author who clearly ADORES the city and understands so much of its majestic history, The Glassblower of Murano temporarily satisfied my cravings for enchanting Venezia! Unfortunately though, there were also detracting paragraphs, multiple plot problems, grammatical errors &am ...more
Lyn Elliott
Jul 03, 2015 Lyn Elliott rated it did not like it
This is a book club read and is so far from what I want to be reading that it's going to end up on my life-is-too-short list very soon. Our last book was Ransom by David Malouf, one of the best books I've read for years. What an unfortunate slip this one is.

Update: life is definitely too short. I've read enough to say what I think at the book club, that's all that matters with this one!
Jacquelynn Luben
Feb 20, 2012 Jacquelynn Luben rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 30, 2009 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This was a Goodreads Giveaway win for me (yay!) and I was so excited to receive it, frankly, because of how very enticing the title sounded. My overall verdict is: It was okay.

The language was usually very flowery, and while sometimes this did enhance the descriptions of some places deserving of lavish adjectives, it mostly made me feel like the author was trying too hard.

I also had a problem with character/relationship development. Alessandro never progressed enough, for starters. I didn't bel
May 20, 2009 Ellie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book was okay. It certainly wasn't horrible, but it's far from being really, really great. It was engaging, in a light, simplistic sort of way of entertaining, but the author seemed to try too hard to make it really "deep". She quotes Dante and other 'great works' seemingly as a way to make her own writing more sophisticated, but the effort falls flat.

Instead of following the essential rule and showing readers what she means and what symbolism is in her story, she tells, as in:

"He felt the
Tara Lynn
Apr 12, 2009 Tara Lynn rated it really liked it
Halfway through this book I gave it three stars as a preliminary rating. By the time I was done, I'd given it four.

Although it gets off to a bit of a slow start, by the end of the novel I was completely engrossed in the story. Remarkably sweet and touching, it tells the story of Nora's attempt to discover more about herself, as an artist and an individual, on a trip to Venice. her story intertwines in revolving chapters with that of her ancestor, the most famous glassblower in Venetian history.
Michela Marie Mifsud
This book had a lot of potential and the author could have surely done a better job. First of all I didn't much care for the modern part of the story. It strongly verged on the chick-lit and I was not after that genre when I chose to read this book. This was Fiorato's first novel and I believe she was experimenting in amalgamating historical fiction with chick lit. I applaude her for trying but personally I would have preferred for the modern chapters to be left out or else to not focus on the m ...more
May 25, 2015 Marie80 rated it it was amazing
Не ме разочара!!! Требаше многу порано да ја прочитам!!!
Oct 18, 2009 Nicole rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2016 Jo-Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is set in Venice and has a story nestled within a story. The ancestor of a skilled glassblower returns to Venice and must uncover the truth about her ancestor with whom she feels a deep connection. Well-written and set in an interesting location. I became engrossed in the story.
Apr 18, 2009 Beth rated it really liked it
I'm a fan of historical fiction, with authors such as Philippa Gregory, Kathleen Kent, Diana Gabaldon, and Sarah Dunant on my books read list. Also, I've visited Venice and am a fan of glass art, specifically Dale Chihuly's, so I was really looking forward to reading this book when I received the ARC I won in a Goodreads contest. The book weaves two stories, one set in the present about Leonora Manin from London, who comes to Venice hoping to be the first female master glassblower, and one about ...more
Há escritores que têm uma primeira obra memorável, que depois é difícil de suplantar, e outros em que se nota um desenvolvimento de livro para livro. Marina Fiorato encaixa-se neste último caso. Já tinha lido três obras desta autora, todas muito boas, mas este seu primeiro livro deixou muito a desejar.

Fiorato tem uma ligação estreita com Itália e as suas histórias decorrem sempre numa cidade italiana. Neste caso temos Veneza. A personagem principal, Leonora Manin, parte para a cidade dos canais
Jan 28, 2010 Julie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 21, 2012 Swapna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked the book knowing nothing about author or the storyline. Two things attracted me, the word “Glassblower” and the book cover.

I started reading this book in a flight back to Bangalore. The opening was good, but very soon I realized that they have used lots of Italian. This language is totally foreign to me. As I proceeded further and the Corradino character started forming I indulged in a book.

Actually I started believing it’s a real story of a Glassblower in Murano. Once I was in the acc
May 05, 2009 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
This was an extremely enjoyable read that bounced back and forth between modern-day and 17th century Venice. Reeling from a recent divorce and an infertility diagnosis, Leonora Manin leaves England for Venice, her birthplace and spiritual home. In search of solace and a sense of history, Leonora looks to her father's ancestor and legendary glassblower Corradino to help her find a anchor in a city built on water. As the sometimes sordid details of Corradino's life come to light, Leonora finds her ...more
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:28AM  
  • The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice
  • The Venetian Mask
  • Cézanne's Quarry
  • Vivaldi's Virgins
  • The Scarlet Contessa
  • Dancing for Degas
  • The Miracles of Prato
  • Poison (The Poisoner Mysteries, #1)
  • A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century
  • Stealing Athena
  • The Rossetti Letter (Claire Donovan #1)
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • The Needle in the Blood
  • The Creation of Eve
  • The Floating Book
  • Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1)
  • The Aviary Gate
  • The Mercy Seller (Illuminator, #2)
Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian. She was born in Manchester and raised in the Yorkshire Dales.

She is a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as an historical source.

After University she studied art and since worked as an illustrator, actress and film reviewer.

She also designed tour visuals for rock bands includ
More about Marina Fiorato...

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