Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Book Review: The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

The Girl in the Glass - Susan Meissner
The Girl In The Glass is a story about two women, separated in time by hundreds of years, but linked together by their love for the city of Florence.  Meg Pomeroy is a woman, living in San Diego, who has dreamed of visiting the historic city ever since she was a little girl.  Meg's father has always promised to take her to Florence.  Suddenly he shows up on her doorstep and offers to take her on the long-awaited vacation.  Through a strange set of circumstances, she finds herself there, not with her father, but totally alone.  She connects with some friends there and spends a week visiting all the beautiful sites of Florence.  Her story is woven together with that of Nora Orinsi,  a woman who lived in Florence in the late 1500s.  Nora's story is told through her eyes, but also through the eyes of Sofia, a local tour guide who claims to be one of her descendents. Their stories are woven together around the beautiful paintings and statues throughout the city. 
Ms. Meissner filled her book with beautiful descriptions and compelling narratives.  She truly makes her readers feel as if they are walking on the streets of Florence.  The settings are wonderfully portrayed and the characters are true-to-life.  The history that is woven throughout the story is incredible and very well-researched.
This story was not one of my favorites for several reasons.  First, the story revolves around the history of the Medicci family.  I was not familiar with their heritage, and did not find it interesting.  Second, I felt that the story was very slow-paced, and there wasn't much action or intrigue.  I was actually about a third of the way through before it became interesting to me.  Third, I didn't feel that there was much spirituality in the story at all.  It seemed that the characters were more interested in the voices inside them or of their ancestors than the voice of God.  It seemed that most of them lived in a dream world, and that was okay because it kept them from being disappointed in real life.  I was very disappointed in this aspect of the story.  Fourth, I found the multiple story lines to be a bit confusing and hard to follow.  Usually I like to read books that jump back and forth between two stories, but this one basically had three separate narratives.  When you add the stories behind the art it becomes even more confusing.  The longer I read, the more intrigued I became, especially with the question of Meg's love life, but the story just didn't compel me. 
Even though I didn't enjoy this book as much as some others, it wasn't because the story wasn't good or was written poorly.  Ms. Meissner is certainly a talented author who writes beautiful stories.  She is a master at weaving together multiple stories.  I would definitely be interested in reading her other books in the future.

Happy Reading,

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