Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner

First a very short summary. A girl longs to go to her grandmother's homeland of Italy - specifically Florence. She finally goes and meets up with a local contact (she is a possible book author for the main character's publishing house) who is very knowledgeable on the art and history of Florence but also happens to hear the voice of a dead relative speak to her through various artwork. When I chose this book, I knew the premise was a bit odd for my taste. I was hoping I would be surprised and really enjoy it. I was a bit disappointed. Let me go ahead and say that I would not call this a bad book. I just could not recommend this book based on my tastes and preferences. I enjoyed the author's writing style and the book's setting. I have always wanted to go to Italy so I had that in common with the main character. I loved seeing a bit of this country through the author's perspective. However, this book has some deeper meanings and undertones in it and I'm just not a "deep" kind of person when it comes to fiction books. In fact, the book itself references those that are "black and white" people and those that are "gray" people seeing all the shades between black and white. I'm a black and white kinda person. I think that is the reason this just did not appeal to me. A major theme of the book is reality versus fantasy and how much of each to believe or allow yourself to believe. I just don't see eye to eye with the author here and skimmed most of these parts while rolling my eyes a bit. There were a few twists I was not expecting towards the end but overall it was kinda slow. There were bits of the dead relative's story interwoven as if we had inserts of a journal at the beginning of each chapter. I would have liked a bit more of that information throughout. Another book that I thought this might be like in that respect is Chateau of Echos by Siri Mitchell. I liked the back and forth of present day to past in that book and thought it might be the same here but it was not. The focus was much more on present day and not on the relative's story. I did not like the handling and resolution of the tumultuous father/daughter relationship and really did not care for a scenario with the contact's (Sophia's) father at the end of the book. It was deceptive and displayed a lack of integrity in my opinion. I received this book for free through the Blogging for Books program of WaterBrook Multnomah publishers in exchange for my review.

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