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  1. The Girl in the Glass
    The Girl in the Glass
    Susan Meissner
    WaterBrook Press / 2012 / Trade Paperback
    $10.99 Retail: $14.99 Save 27% ($4.00)
    4 Stars Out Of 5 38 Reviews
    Availability: In Stock
    CBD Stock No: WW730428
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4.1 out Of 5
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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
    JulieSurfaceJohnson
    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
    Indiana
    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
    beckie
    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
    Slow
    March 17, 2013
    Iola
    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.
Displaying items 1-5 of 38
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