The Glassblower of Murano
By Marina Fiorato
(St. Martin's Griffin, Paperback, 9780312386986, 368pp.)
Publication Date: May 26, 2009
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Venice, 1681. Glassblowing is the lifeblood of the Republic, and Venetian mirrors are more precious than gold. Jealously guarded by the murderous Council of Ten, the glassblowers of Murano are virtually imprisoned on their island in the lagoon. But the greatest of the artists, Corradino Manin, sells his methods and his soul to the Sun King, Louis XIV of France, to protect his secret daughter. In the present day his descendant, Leonora Manin, leaves an unhappy life in London to begin a new one as a glassblower in Venice. As she finds new life and love in her adoptive city, her fate becomes inextricably linked with that of her ancestor and the treacherous secrets of his life begin to come to light.
Marina Fiorato is half-Venetian and a history graduate of Oxford University and the University of Venice, where she specialized in the study of Shakespeare’s plays as an historical source. She has worked as an illustrator, an actress, and a film reviewer, and designed tour visuals for rock bands including U2 and the Rolling Stones. Her historical fiction includes The Daughter of Siena, and The Botticelli Secret. Her debut novel, The Glassblower of Murano, was an international bestseller. She was married on the Grand Canal in Venice, and now lives in London with her family.
"I would never have guessed that this was a first novel; Marina Fiorato has beautifully recreated the bright, glittering world of the seventeenth-century glassblower, and nestled it surely within a compelling contemporary romance." –Jeanne Kalogridis, author of The Borgia Bride and I, Mona Lisa
"The Glassblower of Murano is a compelling story, richly detailed, with wonderful, memorably drawn characters." –Diane Haeger, author of The Secret Bride and The Ruby Ring
"Fiorato captivates her reader as surely and intricately as the beautiful city of Venice enchants her characters. A fascinating tale of mystery and dedication, of love and betrayal." --Kate Furnivall, author of The Russian Concubine