The plans for Maria’s engagement progresses as planned. Her household is a flurry with suitors and new gowns. This provokes the ire of her sister, Giovanna, who has resigned herself to take the vows of a nun. During this time, the family business suffers as the profits are filtered into Maria’s dowry. The family is down a blower, so they hire the talented Luca to fulfill orders. Maria finds herself drawn to him but love is not about what she wants. Marriage, in this period, is only about what is in the best interest for the family…and an orphaned glassblower is, most definitely, not part of the plan.
Stephanie Hemphill has written a very neat, little book. You could read this book in the course of a stint at the coffee shop, or on a drive home for the holidays (as I did). For all its brevity, though, this book packs a good punch. It’s an engaging narrative told in short verse and the story is sweet. Readers will identify with Maria’s struggles and desires – and her place in Renaissance Italian society makes for a great story.
4 out of 5 stars.
* Sisters of Glass releases March 27, 2012.
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