I can find no appropriate words to describe how beautiful Susan Meissner’s new book is. Magnificent. Stunning. Fabulous. Somehow, they all fall short.
The Girl in the Glass is a masterpiece, a story that draws you in from the first page and doesn’t let go. Written in the voice of Nora, the long-dead Medici daughter, and Meg, the 30-year-old, travel book editor who longs to see Florence, Italy but has never been, the book brings these characters into the room. I could feel Meg’s longings, disappointments and emptiness. I could hear the same from Nora on the eve of her wedding. And as the story moves along, I wanted to break out my dusty pictures of Florence and relive a trip I took almost 14 years ago. Meissner captures Florence in a way that made me feel like I was there yesterday. And if you’ve never been, you’ll feel like you have been after reading this book.
Usually when I read a good book, I want to tear through it to find the ending. (I’m not a read the ending before I’ve read the rest kind of girl.) Not so with this. I wanted to savor each word. Take it in. Linger. I didn’t want it to end, even it meant good things for the characters.
One of Meissner’s skills is the intertwining of history and present-day. She did it with A Sound Among the Trees, the only other book of hers I’ve read, and it’s captivating. I can’t wait to pick up more from her.
This is a love story. But not in the way you think. It’s less about girl-meets-boy and more about girl-meets-city and finds more of herself than she knew existed.
Can I say it again? I loved this book. Too bad I don’t speak any Italian. Maybe then I’d find a word that fits.
Read the first chapter here.
In exchange for this review, I received a free electronic copy of this book from WaterbrookMultnomah Publishing Group through its Blogging for Books program. For a chance to win your own copy, click here and rank this review on the Blogging for Books site.