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The Glassblower of Murano

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  4,137 ratings  ·  661 reviews
Venice, 1681.Glassblowing is the lifeblood of theRepublic, and Venetian mirrors aremore 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 his ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mark Davis
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"
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Judy
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
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Beth
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
Lynne Norman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
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.
Jeane
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
...more
Kiersten
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
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Averil
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
Laura
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
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Casey
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
...more
Jacquelynn Luben
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellie
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
...more
JayeL
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
...more
Ket Lamb
This historical mystery about a prominent glassblower in Murano, Corradino Manin, jumps back and forth between 1681 and the present as one of his artistic descendants, Leonara, tries to uncover what really happened to her talented ancestor. The storyline was so appealing, I was compelled to enter the Goodreads contest to receive an early copy of the book, and I was thrilled when I won one! (Thank you, Goodreads!) Having visited Venice and Murano and graduated from Pitzer College, which was known ...more
Karen (Kew)
I found this book completely absorbing, as another reviewer has said, I actually found myself googling Corradino Manin to check whether he was a real character from history. I have been to Venice a couple of times and this book really recreates the feel of the city; not surprising as the author is half venetian! The book swiches between the modern and the historical as the modern day descendant of Manin gradually unravels the mystery of the past; the outcome of which will have a profound affect ...more
Tara Lynn
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.
...more
Nicole
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
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Swapna
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
...more
Colleen
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
Beth
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
Nikki
I got a couple of chapters into this and realised it wouldn't be anything new. The story of the glassblower's life could have been interesting, but the modern Leonora's life was so much cliché and drew so much on people's perceptions of Venice as a beautiful and romantic place and blah blah blah. The parallel stories, modern and ancient, is a device that's been used a thousand times before.

And the writing itself is truly indifferent. I don't think I read anything with even a spec of originality.
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Marsha
I hate to be negative about a book I received for free from GR, but here goes. The more I read this book, the less I enjoyed it. The prose tends to be quite melodramatic, particularly the female protagonist's inner dialogue. In fact, the prose at times was so strangely phrased that I kept wondering if this was a translation.

I really liked the historically based plot at first, but it took a few romance novel/chick lit turns that lost my interest.

However, if you're interested in Venice (always a g
...more
Gizella Tóth
Nagyon bejönnek a hölgy könyvei (mind a kettő, amit eddig olvastam tőle:)). Remek példája annak, hogy mocskos beszéd és túlfűtött szexjelenetek nélkül is remek, minden pillanatában élvezhető könyvet lehet írni.
Dawn
We all have this image of how our life should be, how we expect it to be. It's Nora's barren existence until her husband leaves, that prompts her to pack her things and moves to Venice, the home of her ancestors. Nora feels a unique ancestorial connection to one legendary Corrinando Manen in particular, for they share a love for the glass. As she learns more about the life of Corrinando, she ultimately learns more about herself. I found this to a culturally beautiful story which awakened my eyes ...more
Linda
Historical fiction meets contemporary romance in this tale of two glassblowers. Leonora Manin, an artist with some skill in glassblowing, has been reading about her ancestor, the illustrious Venetian glassmaker Corradino Manin (fictional). Now reeling from her recent divorce, she decides to make a new start in Venice, which is also the city of her own birth. Leonora fortuitously lands a job and a new love interest during her very first week as a native Venetian. Author Marina Fiorato spins out h ...more
Lewes Library
This review has a spoiler so I'm saving you from reading this annoying book that promised to be a good historical mystery/thriller. Where to start?
Englishwoman goes to 60's Venice to study art. Meets Italian Adonis vaporetto driver (who looks like a painting), & is descended from the most famous glass blower in Murano: Corradino Manin. Woman gets pregnant, returns to England, never hears from Adonis again & becomes a bitter feminist.
Fast forward 20 yrs: their daughter Leonora Manin, now
...more
Hannah Fielding
As soon as I read the description of this book, I knew I had to read it, because the setting – Venice – mirrors that for my own recent romance novel, The Echoes of Love; and it’s one of my favourite places in the world and most certainly a perfect backdrop for intrigue and romance.

I loved this book. Loved it! It’s one of those books that you want to start reading again no sooner have you finished reading it.

The writing is beautiful – so carefully crafted and melodious and wonderfully descriptiv
...more
Sue Padgham
I visited Murano for the day as a teenager and remember seeing some glassblowing for real, so this book sort of drew me in. The main character is trying to build a new life for herself in Venice after a failed marriage in England. She is keen to learn the glassblowing trade of her ancestors and discovers an intriguing history which begins to affect her chance of success and happiness. The switch between the present and the past makes for an interesting read.
Lisette
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:28AM  
  • The Venetian Mask
  • The Four Seasons: A Novel of Vivaldi's Venice
  • The Aviary Gate
  • The Creation of Eve
  • The Rossetti Letter
  • Vivaldi's Virgins
  • A Venetian Affair: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in the 18th Century
  • The Salt Road
  • The Ruby Ring
  • Dancing for Degas
  • The Courtesan's Lover
  • Interrupted Aria (Tito Amato, #1)
  • The Miracles of Prato: A Novel
  • The Scarlet Contessa
  • Cézanne's Quarry
  • The Borgia Betrayal (The Poisoner Mysteries, #2)
  • With Violets
  • The Villa in Italy
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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
More about Marina Fiorato...
The Botticelli Secret The Daughter of Siena The Madonna of the Almonds The Venetian Contract Beatrice and Benedick

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