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The Girl in the Glass: A Novel

Susan Meissner
The Girl in the Glass: A Novel

"Renaissance "is a word with hope infused in every letter. Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother's house. But after her grandmother passes aw... Read More

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Paper Back
Item # 1399895

"Renaissance "is a word with hope infused in every letter.
Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother's house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg's long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.
When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents' divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.
When Sophia, Meg, and Nora's stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if "renaissance "isn't just a word? What if that's what happens when you dare to believe that what "is "isn't "what has to be"?
  • Product type: Book
  • Format: Paper Back
  • Release Date: Sep 18, 2012
  • UPC: 9780307730428
  • Height: 0
  • Volumes/Discs: 1
  • Pages: 334
  • Publish Date: Sep 18, 2012
  • Language: English
  • BISAC: "FIC008000"
  • ISBN: 0307730425

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Alluring read by ARose on 1/15/2013

"The Girl in the Glass" by Susan Meissner (WaterBrook Press, 2012 )

Since her grandmother promised her as a child that she would take her to Florence someday, Meg has dreamed of little else. Then after her grandmother passes away, the promise to take her to Florence passes on to Meg's unstable father. Finally, after years of saying they would go only to let her down, it looks like he is finally going to pull through. Then everything goes wrong, and it seems that Meg's job as editor for a travel book company is the closest she is going to get to Italy. Her father let her down. Again. Or did he? When a ticket to Florence shows up on Meg's doorstep, she risks everything and takes the trip, hoping her dad will be waiting on the other end, but when she arrives no one is there to meet her. It falls to Meg's clients, brother and sister Lorenzo and Reneta, as well as Sophia, a woman who's memoir Meg is trying to convince her company to publish, to host her visit. Amid the tours of awe-inspiring cathedrals, statues and paintings, Meg discovers, not only the beauty of an ancient city, but the complexity of the human soul, and the necessity of dreams.

This book has a pull akin, perhaps, to the tantalization of Florence itself, and once I hit a certain point it was difficult to put it down. Though this is the first of Meissner's work I have read, I caught on quickly to her distinct style; while some authors paint their stage and leave most detail to the imagination, Meissner seems to pinpoint and give detailed descriptions as she chooses, leaving most of the broader setting to the imagination. While I found her style tedious at times, I can not fault a writer for having a voice, and she is good at what she does. The characters were well-rounded (we meet a diversity of personality types within these pages, not just generic cutouts), and the plot alluring, though I did stumble a little over the first several chapters while I waited for the story to get moving, but when it does begin to move it holds its pace well.

As for the overall message, I'm somewhat torn. I consider myself a dreamer, but can we make something true simply because we believe it to be so? This book seems to suggest that we can. On the other hand, Meg does draw the conclusion that dreams are good as long we know where the dream stops and where reality begins; both have a place. I like to think that dreams can change reality. While we cannot always change the circumstances around us, we can choose the attitude with which we handle them, and that can make reality easier to bear. A dream, a simple dream, seems empty if it does not contain some substance. I feel that Meissner's characters are dreamy creatures who move to the winds of their emotions, and by the end of the story have at least half learned that we can take charge of our own destiny and make our dreams, the ones worth having, a reality.

The fact that this novel is considered Christian and didn't seem very Christian both pleased and disappointed me: on one hand I do not like overly "religious" books that manipulate a story to make God into something that He isn't, but on the other hand it perhaps could have carried a more resonating message of the healing and change that is possible when we look to God for our strength.

Overall, an enjoyable read, and I would pick up another one of her books in the future.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for this honest review.

…to look after orphans and widows in their distress. James 1:27
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