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The Glassblower of Murano

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  6,274 ratings  ·  872 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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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,274 ratings  ·  872 reviews


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Mark Davis
May 07, 2013 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"
...more
Lynne Norman
Mar 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: book-group-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kiersten
Oct 05, 2010 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
...more
Beth
Jul 18, 2010 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
Yasmin
Jan 10, 2016 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
Judy
Oct 26, 2008 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
...more
Jeane
Sep 19, 2010 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
...more
J.S. Dunn
Nov 28, 2015 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
...more
Barbara Elsborg
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this and I loved it. I came on here expecting to see most people also loved it and though a lot obviously do there are many who really didn't like it all. I read those reviews and I can see and appreciate some of the points made, but for me, they did not detract from the story. I wasn't confused by the changing from one period of time to another, I ignored any anachronisms - I did wonder about the obsidian glass and Pompeii but I let it go. Just as I let go the odd POV slips - I ...more
Lilisa
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
Lisa
Aug 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: city-names, c21st, italy
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.
Lyn Elliott
Jul 02, 2015 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!
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
...more
JayeL
Nov 03, 2009 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
...more
Ellie
Mar 31, 2009 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
...more
Yellowdreamer
Apr 05, 2012 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
Theresa
True rating would be 2.5 stars if that was possible. Ugh.. This book really disappointed me. This is the authors debut book and had I read it before her others I'm sure I never would have picked up another. So if you liked her book Bottecelli Secret go ahead and skip this one because it's no where even close to being as good. This was painful to read really and truly it was.
Donna
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved it. I don’t care about the other reviews. I couldn’t put it down read it til 1:30 am and sad that it’s finished. Loved the Venetian history and locations kept reminding me of Donna Leon’s books.
Now I must have some authentic Murano glass!
Nicole
Oct 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pam
Aug 17, 2015 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
...more
Beth
Apr 07, 2009 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
Jacquelynn Luben
Dec 23, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oda
May 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Let me start with a true pearl that only Norwegians will fully appreciate: the english expression "making a cake of herself" was here translated literally into "gjøre av kake av seg selv"...

...

I dont't even.

I suspect that the horrible Norwegian translation contributed a little, but this might be one of the most poorly written books I ever read. As an avid reader of historical fiction, I'm used to books like these following a prescription, and I'm used to guessing the OMG PLOT TWIST stuff to come
...more
Casey
Oct 21, 2009 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
...more
Tara Lynn
Mar 31, 2009 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.
...more
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
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Unexpectedly enjoyable book. I was anticipating something like Suzanne M. Wolfe's Unveiling (which was awful) but instead, I found the heroine Nora real and appealing. The dual story lines were engrossing and I was equally invested in each plot. The book is nice and meaty, too -- it felt like the author had time to wrap up everything the way she wanted.
Dea
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Maybe this book should have been written better but i got so emotionally engaged in the Corradino's story that I overlooked all possible illogicalities and slightly undeveloped parts of Leonora's life story
Melissa
Aug 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A light, easy read with a typical love story that ends happily. The wrap-up was pretty abrupt. What I enjoyed most about the story was the "past" storyline about the glass-blower in Venice. Having just spent 3 days in Venice (12 total in Italy) and about an hour doing the "touristy" Murano with a glass blowing demo and visit to the glass store, I really enjoyed recalling my own time in Venice. This would be a perfect beach read.

"Venice, 1681. Glassblowing is the lifeblood of the Republic, and Ve
...more
Julie
Jan 09, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 15, 2015 09:28AM  

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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
“Man kan lettere forsnakke seg enn fortie seg.” 0 likes
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