I've never been to Florence before and after reading this book, I feel I had a little taste of it thanks to the detailed descriptions the author gave. Now, some people might not like the minute details that Susan Meissner put into the book. It probably could have been a shorter book...but moving on.
Meg is an adult and is still feeling the effects of her parent's divorce almost 15 years later. Her father promised Meg's gramma that he would take her to Florence. Fast forward many years and Meg still hasn't gone....until one day she has less than half an hour to get ready and head to the airport to get on a plane to head to Florence.
Sofia is writing a memoir about her life as a Medici living in Florence. Meg gets a copy of Sofia's first two chapters and falls immediately in love...yet again....with Florence. In order for Sofia's memoir to be published, Meg's boss' tell her that she needs to find proof of Sofia's family history proving she is a Medici. Sofia does not have proof and cannot understand why people aren't taking her at her word.
When Meg gets to Florence, she realizes that her father is not there and never had been. She is stuck in a foreign country with no where to go...until she remembers that Sofia put her address on her pages for her book. Meg hops in a cab and heads over to where Sofia lives. Meg ends up staying with Sofia and together they experience the art that Florence has to offer.
Going into this book I didn't have high expectations of it being a Christian fiction novel. And those expectations were met. There were a few quick prayers sent up when someone was in trouble, but other than that, nothing. I felt the focus of the book had nothing to do with God, but with finding out who you truly are and following your dreams because you can do anything. That's not necessarily bad, but as a Christian, God should be the center of our lives and a Christian should be getting to know God more, not necessarily themselves. In the process, He will point out the areas that we need to give over to Him. I would recommend this book if you were interested in Florence, Italy, but not other than that.
This is the story of three women: Meg Pomeroy, Sophia Borelli, and Nora Orsini-and the love they all have in common, Florence, Italy.
Meg Pomeroy lives in San Diego and works as an editor for a publishing house that specializes in travel. The biggest influence in Meg's life was her much loved Italian grandmother, Nonna. Meg and Nonna planned to go to Florence together after Meg's high school graduation-Meg dreamed and longed for this trip. Then Meg's parents divorced and to a certain extent, she lost both her Dad and Nonna. Meg no longer lived close to Nonna, so her frequent visits stopped, and her Dad didn't spend very much time with Meg anymore. Then sadly, Nonna passed away. But before her death, Nonna made Meg's Dad swear to make the long promised Florence trip with Meg.
As an adult, Meg has traveled to different parts of the world. But the only place she really wants to go is Florence-that is the desire of her heart. She has held back going, hoping after all these years that her Dad would finally take her. Unfortunately, her Dad hasn't been reliable in many areas, including taking Meg to Florence. He mentions going from time-to-time, but never actually does it. As the years have passed, the people in Meg's life have advised her to quit holding out hope for her Dad, and make the trip herself.
Suddenly, Meg's Dad is promising the trip once again. This time, it really looks like the Florence vacation will happen. But will it really? Her father abruptly disappears. Is this promised trip just another disappointment from her Dad? Should Meg forget about traveling with her Dad, and go after her heart's desire and make this trip alone?
Sophia Borelli has guided tourists in Florence, Italy, for decades. After all those years, she knows the art and history of the city like the back of her hand. Sophia claims she hears the voice of Nora Orsini when she looks at the great art of Florence, and that is how she knows so much about the city. The Medici family is said to have died out years earlier. However, Sophia says she, like Nora, is a Medici and that is why Sophia can hear Nora's voice.
Sophia has written a charming book about Florence in which Sophia quotes information she claims comes from the long-dead Nora. Sophia wants Meg to get it published for her. Although Meg really likes Sophia and her writing, she knows her company won't publish something that contains information from a "voice". Is Sophia really hearing Nora's voice, or is she delusional? Can Sophia truly be part of the extinct Medici family? The Medici family tie is the main reason the publishing company would want to publish the book, if that is not true, the publisher might lose interest. If these claims are disproved, will it destroy the fragile Sophia who has already endured so many losses?
Nora Orsini is a member of the Medici family living in 1500Ã¢â¬Â²s Florence. This is the Nora that Sophia claims she is related to, and whose voice she hears-and Nora is a real historical figure. Nora's story weaves in and out of the book with some parallels in the lives of both Sophia and Meg.
I think this book is very appealing. The intertwining of the three women's stories is interesting. I especially like the parts where the three stories intersect. The book doesn't really present the Gospel of Christ, but God is mentioned, and the characters have some discussions about God. Florence is described so well that you want to go see this city yourself. This tale has twists and turns, and just when it looks like the ending is apparent, it takes another turn. I applaud the author for writing a wholesome story, and give this book five stars.
The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book through WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of review. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner.
I loved this book! Maybe the reason I found it so fascinating was it transported me back to my visit there many years ago. When I was there as a tourist, Florence just grabbed me & wouldn't let go. Yes, I was a willing captive & I didn't want to leave but my husband had to remind me that we had to move on. Regretfully, my time there was too short & I treasure the drawings a sidewalk artist drew of my husband & me, along with the snapshots we took. Such good memories! Not only will you willl enjoy this read, you will want to hop the next plane to Florence!
Once again, Susan Meissner carries us away to a past time as we look at the lives of two women, Nora Orsini and Meg Pomeroy who love Florence, Italy. Nora as she is preparing to marry and saying goodbye to her beautiful city. Meg fell in love with Florence through the eyes of her beloved Grandmother. Now her long awaited trip had finally arrived.
This is the third Meissner book I've read and overall, I enjoyed this story, it didn't move me the way The Shape of Mercy did, but there are few books that will do that. I think the best part of the story was watching Meg come into her own. Meg in some ways reminded me of myself as I could relate with her dreams and her disappointment in the people she loved.
Reading about Meg's time in Florence was also enjoyable as the author did paint a nice picture of what life might be like in the Florence of today as well as the Florence of yesteryear.
The thing that bothers me about Meissner's books are the lack of a strong spiritual aspect. In this story there's a reference to Meg's mom being at a church function and Meg attends Mass with Sophia and says the occasional prayer. I personally enjoy stories that have more emphasis on the spiritual aspect of at least one character.
If you enjoy stories that blend history with the contemporary you should enjoy this story. If you enjoy books that are not "overly" Christian, but is a "clean" read you'll enjoy this as well.
Disclaimer: I did receive this advance reader copy from the publishers I was under no obligation other than to give my honest opinion.
What hopes and dreams do you see when you peer into the looking "glass?" Do you see what was or what could be? Have you put off your dreams or have unfulfilled promises in your life because of situations out of your control? Well, I know I do.
Step into the pages of The Girl in the Glass. Through Meg's life of work and dysfunctional family relations, we see a glimpse of ourselves... or maybe a friend. She is not the strongest person, and the unexpected solo trip to Florence helps her realize she can accomplish more that she thought. Meg is able to finally break free of past hurts and disappointments and learns to embrace the future. I truly enjoy a book in which I can relate to the characters.
Susan Meissner has woven a wonderful story of the bonds that connect us to each other.
My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I received a complimentary copy of The Girl in the Glass from Waterbrook Press for my honest review.