The Girl in the Glass    -     By: Susan Meissner
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The Girl in the Glass

WaterBrook Press / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

Meg Pomeroy is fed up. She's reeling from a broken engagement; angry at her irresponsible father; and embarrassed by her mother, who's dating a younger man. Seeking perspective, she travels to Florence, Italy, where she meets Sofia, a Medici descendant who claims that Renaissance masterpieces "talk" to her. Will Meg question what's real---or gain a new vision? 352 pages, softcover from Waterbrook.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 352
Vendor: WaterBrook Press
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0307730425
ISBN-13: 9780307730428
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Renaissance is a word with hope infused in every letter.
Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother’s house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg’s long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.
When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents’ divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.
When Sophia, Meg, and Nora’s stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if renaissance isn’t just a word? What if that’s what happens when you dare to believe that what is isn’t what has to be?

Author Bio

Susan Meissner is an award-winning author whose books include The Shape of Mercy, Lady in Waiting, and A Sound Among the Trees. She is the wife of an Air Force chaplain and a mother of four young adults. When she’s not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Girl in the Glass

"The Girl in the Glass is possibly the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. Susan Meissner lifted her book to the level of poetry at the same time she drew me in so deeply to the story that I was lost in the world she created. The story comes in three threads that twist together into a stunning, compelling, enchanting whole. I absolutely loved it."
—Mary Connealy, author of The Kincaid Brides series

"The Girl in the Glass
is a compelling story that left me begging the world to stop long enough to savor its pages. Susan Meissner is a master storyteller who weaves times and characters together with writing that paints perfect images. This time she gifts us with a trip to Florence, home of art and story."
—Cara C. Putman, award-winning author of A Wedding Transpires on Mackinac Island and Stars in the Night

"Susan Meissner has done it again with this sweeping tale that will have you turning the pages late into the night. Get caught up in the journey of Meg as she finds her life and direction in the beauty and mystery of Italy. You will be cheering magnifico!"
—Jenny B. Jones, award-winning author of Save the Date and A Charmed Life series

Praise for Susan Meissner

"Meissner delivers a delightful page-turner that will surely enthrall readers from beginning to end. The antebellum details, lively characters, and overlapping dramas particularly will excite history buffs and romance fans."
—Publisher’s Weekly starred review

"Meissner transports readers to another time and place to weave her lyrical tale of love, loss, forgiveness, and letting go."
—Karen White, New York Times best-selling author of The Beach Trees

"My eyes welled up more than once! A beautiful story of love, loss, and sacrifice, and of the bonds that connect us through time."
—Susanna Kearsley, New York Times best-selling author of The Winter Sea

"How does Susan create characters that stay with me long after I close the book? How does she address the emotions and memories that hold us hostage with such grace? I keep reading, knowing I’ll discover a fascinating story and hoping I’ll infuse some of the skill and craft that Susan weaves to make it."
—Jane Kirkpatrick , award-winning author of The Daughter’s Walk

Product Reviews

4.2 Stars Out Of 5
4.2 out of 5
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
4.4 out Of 5
(4.4 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.1 out Of 5
(4.1 out of 5)
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Cedar Falls, IA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Skillful blend of contemporary and historical
    August 16, 2014
    Jocelyn Green, author of Faith Deployed
    Cedar Falls, IA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    This would be a fabulous read for anyone who loves art history, Florence, Italy, or a gently-paced tale that weaves both historical and contemporary story lines. Some readers may find themselves skimming the art history details, but most of them actually contribute to a depth of discovery that is ultimately meaningful to the main characters. The surprise ending was a delight.

    Coming from a Christian publisher and author, I was surprised that there was no faith element in this book beyond a mention that someone asked for prayer. I believe a spiritual thread could have strengthened the theme, but I still give four stars for skillful weaving of stories spanning several centuries, historical details, and for crafting genuinely likeable characters.
  2. Milwaukie, OR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Another Home Run for Susan Meissner
    April 9, 2014
    Milwaukie, OR
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The Girl in the Glass confirmed Susan Meissner as one of my favorite contemporary novelists. I fell in love with her characters, especially Meg and Lorenzo, and didn't want the book to end. However, the ending was so satisfying that I find myself, once again, waiting for Meissner's next book.

    Others have reviewed the story line, so I'll limit myself to writing about some of the poetic aspects of the book which left me sighing or giggling or wishing for more. Fresh imagery such as, "the seesaw siren of a European ambulance" or "A line of Vespas, parked like dominoes ready to fall," peppered the pages. In another section, Meissner describes the jealousy Meg feels when Lorenzo walks in with another woman as follows: "I watched in what can only be described as junior-high jealousy as he came out onto the balcony with a lithe brunette on his arm . . . . Her eyelashes could shut a door with one swipe . . . .professionally whitened and perfectly straight teeth saluted me."

    In what proved to be the central dilemma of the book--choosing reality over fantasy or vice versa, she writes: "Emilio clearly saw everything black and white . . . but we were the ones who saw the countless shades of gray. We didn't choose reality over fantasy; we chose reality AND fantasy. We saw the beauty in believing some things can be imagined and also the security that some things can be counted on. The things we counted on made the things we imagined possible. And those possibilities made life wonderful and wild."

    In addition to all of this, Meissner succeeded in crafting a credible story weaving the lives of three separate women from two different centuries together in such a way that they forged a strong and memorable bond.
  3. Indiana
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Three stories in one
    November 4, 2013
    Mary B
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    You have to respect a writer who can tell three stories simultaneously, and who does it well. I don't normally read contemporary fiction; I prefer historical works. This has a little bit of both and I enjoyed it. I also really, really want to visit Florence, Italy now.
  4. Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Nora of Florence
    September 19, 2013
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    "The Girl in the Glass" by Susan Meissner is the tale of three women on two continents and two centuries. The novel starts out with Nora of the prominent Medicis from the 14th century in Florence, Italy and Meg, a California woman in the 21st. Meg works for a travel book publisher and receives chapters from a budding writer, Sofia, living in Florence. Sofia believes she is a descendant of the Medici and that Nora speaks to her through statues. Meg has a life-long dream of visiting Florence. Her father sends her to Florence shortly after Meg was introduced to Sofia. The three women's lives become intertwined in Florence.

    The beginning of this book is hard to get into. Meg is rather immature and has a weird emotional dependency with her parents. Nora is rather vague. When Sofia steps into the story, the novel takes on a whole new take. Sofia's writing is phenomenal. No matter that it is unbelievable, it is still a wonderful voice. I know almost nothing of Italy, let alone Florence. During most of Meg's trip to Florence, I had to read near a laptop so that I could google the works of art they were talking about. There is a lot I have been missing. The art was amazing. If the goal of this book is to make you want to go to Florence, then buy me a ticket. Florence is my new destination on my "must see before I die" list. Top of the list at that. The novel really comes to together at the end. Not my favorite Meissner novel, but still awesome writing. I won this book in a contest from Water Brook Press. (The contest was to choose the cover of the book. They didn't pick my fav, but I still got the book!)
  5. New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    March 17, 2013
    New Zealand
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Marguerite (Meg) Pomeroy was promised a trip to Florence, her Nonna's birthplace, as a high school graduation gift, but she's now almost thirty and her father still hasn't taken her. Now she might finally be going, and hopes to connect with Lorenzo and Renata DiSantis, the brother-and-sister pair who write and photograph travel books published by her San Diego employer. And she might also get to meet Sophia, their neighbour, a tour guide and would-be author who claims to be descended from the famous Medici family.

    Girl in the Glass is written from three perspectives: Meg's first-person story, the first-person musings of a betrothed girl named Nora, and Sophia's memoir. But it took quite a while to work out who Nora was (a long-dead Medici) and what relationship she had with the rest of the story (Sophia claims to hear Nora speak through art works).

    This made the story quite hard going at first - in fact, I stopped reading at the 25% mark, because the points of view were confusing, nothing had happened, and I was getting annoyed with Meg moaning about wanting to go to Florence but not doing anything about it (goodness, this is the twenty-first century. Women can travel on their own, even such distances as San Diego to Florence). But I eventually picked it up again—and had to start again from the beginning, to remind myself what I was reading.

    At this point I was thinking that Sophia's memoir was fascinating, a book I'd like to read even though I'm not a fan of art or memoir. Nora's short reflections of her childhood were interesting, even though it wasn't clear how these fitted into the larger story. Meg's story? Uninspiring. Boring, even. The writing was lovely. But there wasn't enough story for my liking (or perhaps it was just that Meg had yet to prove herself likeable). Anyway, I persevered.

    Finally, at the 28% point, something happened, and by the 40% mark, Meg was on her way to Florence, and the story picked up pace. Finally. But now I can't tell you what happens, because that would be a spoiler. Suffice to say, the second half of the book was much better than the first and the ending was both perfect and unexpected. I've visited Florence, and these scenes both brought back memories and made me want to see the city again, this time through Meg's eyes and with Sophia as a guide.

    This book is published by WaterBrook, a Christian publisher, but the book hardly mentioned God or religion at all. If you're looking for a novel with a strong Christian message, this isn't it. If you're looking for inspirational women's fiction, this may well suit, as long as you can get past the first hundred pages.

    Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah and BloggingforBooks® for providing a free ebook for review.
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