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 againÃ¢â¬âand 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 BloggingforBooksÃÂ® for providing a free ebook for review.
Since she was a child, Meg Pomeroy has dreamed of visiting Florence. However, when Meg finally has the chance to take the long-anticipated trip, it turns out to be far different than she has expected.
Anticipating to meet her father there, Meg arrives in Florence and discovers that she is on her own. Hospitable Sofia Borelli welcomes Meg to Florence and to her home, but as Meg gets to know Sofia and the beautiful city, she discovers some surprising truths about both- and about herself.
This book wasn't totally my style, and I felt like the ending was a little strange, but I must say that this book was very well-written! I as the reader felt pulled into the story. The depth of the book was stunning due, I am sure, to the careful and precise research of the author. She did a great job of making her readers feel as if they were actually seeing the story with their own eyes. This book was, overall, a pretty good read.
I appreciated the opprotunity to read this book, thanks to the library! :-)
Meg, Sophia, and Nora are the main characters of this book. Each woman is from a different generation and each one experienced brokenness in her childhood. It took some time to get into the rhythm of the book with the switches back and forth of which character you are tracking. Once you have the flow figured out, you can anticipate the next chapter of each story. The stories weave together when you consider how each girl was raised. The Nurse in the story deserves a parenting award for her encouragement of the forgotten Nora. Her lessons helped sustain Sophia as well. Meg learns a great deal on her self-discovery trip to Florence and it able to return home with a sense of peace about her father and herself. Not knowing the city of Florence myself, I was intrigued by the abundance of art in one place. I cannot comment on the accuracy of that part, but it made me curious to see the city. The author has written another story of history intwined with the modern day. I enjoy her books because they tell a story and they teach. I would have classified it as historical fiction and not Christian fiction, though.
As usual, Susan hooked me within the first few pages. Meg's story begins with a theme of "borrowing" that's much too prevalent in her life. She's taken the safe path & made good choices, but a passion & desire for something more lies dormant inside her heart where she keeps it safely tucked away. A cast of interesting & complex characters each contribute to Meg's journey towards owning her future. Venice has always called to me, but Florence has certainly been added to my bucket list as a result of this beautiful story. I'll also never look at art the same way again. I absolutely adored Sophia even when her fantasies & flaws surfaced, maybe even more so after I understood her better. Meg would've never learned to fly without Sophia's lovely & gentle "Mary" spirit. I honestly didn't know which conclusion I was rooting for, but Susan's wonderful ending eclipsed both of the scenarios I imagined! Need to "get away" - this is the book for you - it's romantic, beautiful, hopeful & refreshing!
Having only read one of Susan Meissner's books before this (A Sound Among the Trees, Click Here to read my review), I was already familiar with her writing style, but wasn't sure what to expect from the story itself.
As before, Meissner drew me into her story world completely with descriptions and settings and details so vivid and sensory that it felt like I was actually there. Reading writing that skillful is always refreshing, and I totally want to take a trip to Italy now.
The story itself was somewhat... how shall I put it?... foggy. I don't mean the plot. The plot was very easy to follow. The message of the story, however, not so much. Basically it comes down to some of the characters being people who see the world as black and white with no in-between, and the rest of the characters being people who see the world as a blend of hundreds of shades of gray, and different people making decisions based on their different perceptions. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Personally I tend to lean more towards being a black and white person, but I can still allow room for gray areas where needed. Unfortunately, the theme of this story seemed like it was so gray that there was nothing solid, nothing that you could grab hold of and take away from the story other than a vague, hazy notion.
Definitely a feel-good story, but not one that offers a solid moral to take away, in my opinion. Nothing wrong with that, but if you're looking for a book with a strong, clear message, this might not be the best choice.
I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review.