The Secret of the Glass

by Donna Russo Morin | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0758226926 Global Overview for this book
Registered by HoserLauren of Burlington, Ontario Canada on 1/2/2011
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by HoserLauren from Burlington, Ontario Canada on Sunday, January 02, 2011
Bought this from Book Depot during the Boxing Day sale.

From Amazon:
The Murano glassmakers of Venice are celebrated and revered. But now three are dead, killed for attempting to leave the city that both prized their work and kept them prisoner. For in this, the 17th century, the secret of their craft must, by law, never leave Venetian shores. Yet there is someone who keeps the secret while defying tradition. She is Sophia Fiolario, and she, too, is a glassmaker. Her crime is being a woman…

Sophia is well aware that her family would be crushed by scandal if the truth of her knowledge and skill with glass were revealed. But there has never been any threat…until now. A wealthy nobleman with strong connections to the powerful Doge has requested her hand in marriage, and her refusal could draw dangerous attention. Yet having to accept and cease her art would devastate her. If there is an escape, Sophia intends to find it.

Now, between creating precious glass parts for one of Professor Galileo Galilei's astonishing inventions and attending lavish parties at the Doge's Palace, Sophia is crossing paths with very influential people--including one who could change her life forever. But in Venice, every secret has its price. And Sophia must decide how much she is willing to pay.

Journal Entry 2 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Sunday, March 20, 2011
In 17th century Venice, the Murano glassmakers are celebrated but also on a tight rope. If any glassmaker tries to leave the city, they are killed because Venice lawmakers don't want the secret of the glass to go beyond the city. The Fiolario's own a glass shop where father Zino guides the workers. His eldest daughter Sophia also knows the secret of the glass, but she's a female and her working in the shop is forbidden. When Galileo enters the shop to inquire about making lenses for his new invention of the telescope, Sophia dangerously takes this on herself.

Sophia is soon betrothed to a man she has no feelings for and learns that he plans to take her family's money, send her up north away from her mother, and send her sisters to the convent. She doesn't know what she can do about it though, as women didn't have much power in these times. As her fiance parades her in front of the community of noblemen and women, she makes friends with Teodoro, a poor nobleman, who she falls in love with. Maybe Teodoro can help her cancel her marriage and keep her secret that she knows how to make glass.

There was a lot of interesting history in this story about Venice, the Murano glassmakers, and Galileo. There were some intriguing contradictions in this book as well. Sophia become a glassmaker and innovator in the industry, yet she has absolutely no control or power over her personal life.

The final third of this book was more romance than historical fiction, which detracted a bit from the overall story. I was happy, though, that it wasn't dragged out too long and the ending left things open for interpretation.

Journal Entry 3 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, March 24, 2011
This book is with me!

Journal Entry 4 by wingAceofHeartswing at Mississauga, Ontario Canada on Thursday, March 31, 2011
Sophia Fiolario is the daughter of renown glass-maker Zeno Fiolario of Murano. This is the early 1600s and it is forbidden for glass-makers to leave Murano under punishment of death. Zeno has taught his daughter the secrets and she is making beautiful glassware during the night. If anyone should find out that a woman is making glass, there would be a huge scandal and Sophia's life could be in danger.

Zeno has started to show signs of dementia which would put his family at risk since there are no male heirs. Galileo commissions the factory to make some very special pieces of glass for his latest invention. With her father unable to comply, Sophia fulfills the order.

Sophia has reluctantly consented to marry Pasquale Da Fuligna , a poor nobleman. Neither of them care for the other and Pasquale only wishes her money and will buy her siblings and mother a place in a convent. Sophia would be banished from the furnaces. Sophia must marry him unless she can find some sort of escape.

As Sophia is taken to balls and musicals she meets another poor nobleman, Teodoro whom she falls madly in love with. Teodoro is however the youngest son and must not marry.

A historical romance in the truest fashion, this book delivers. The history of the famous glass-makers of Murano is intricately woven with the intrigues and frustrations of romance.

Journal Entry 5 by HoserLauren at Toronto, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Mailed today from a swap.

Journal Entry 6 by shaunesay at Olathe, Kansas USA on Saturday, April 30, 2011
This sounds very good, glad you offered it Lauren, thanks!

Journal Entry 7 by shaunesay at Olathe, Kansas USA on Monday, November 26, 2012
I really enjoyed this one a lot. I've always been interested in blown glass, so the art, and the culture were interesting to me. I liked the characters, and look forward to more of this author!

Next stop is Zosime from the November Historical Fiction Swap. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 8 by zosime at Marshfield, Wisconsin USA on Tuesday, December 18, 2012
This came in the mail yesterday. Thanks, Shaunesay! I am having a hard time believing three people have already read this book though - it looks brand new! The pressure is on to be extra kind to it.

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