The Girl in the Glass by Susan Meissner (A Review)

A young girl falls in love with a painting.  A painting.  Then she falls in love with a place.  Florence, Italy.

In the painting a statue beckons with outstretched hand to a girl, her grandmother, her Nonna.  The painting was crafted by the young girl’s great-great-grandfather.

Nonna tells this child that she, Meg, is the child in the painting.  Just as her Nonna was that child once upon a time.

Meg’s obsession with the painting grows, especially after Nonna promises a trip to Florence upon high school graduation.  But the trip never comes about as her Nonna dies when Meg is 12.

Meg never gives up on her dream of seeing Florence and finding the statue in the painting.  Her father’s promises to take her there are never fulfilled.

Finally, through her work, she finds herself in Florence still hunting her dream.  And perhaps also hoping to find love, someone who truly cares for her.

In The Girl in the Glass, Susan Meissner has painted with words an intriguing tale of love, lost love, jealousy, envy, and a mysterious tale involving an Italian writer named Sophia Borelli who believes she a descendant of the Medicis and in fact from Medici princess Nora Orsini.

The story of these women is woven like threads in a tapestry.  They each experienced a love of Florence at times joyous, at times fraught with frustration.  Each of them have loved and yet been disappointed by that love, contrasting the cost of love and the gift of love despite circumstances.

The Girl in the Glass is a book I could not put down.  Meissner crafts characters that live on long after the back cover closes.  Her descriptions of Florence transport.  The plot builds every so slowly but powerfully.  You won’t be disappointed by this book!

My favorite quote:

Imagine that you’ve been empowered to believe Renaissance isn’t just a word; it’s the essence of rebirth; it’s what happens when you dare to believe what is isn’t what it has to be; it can be remade.

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Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group provided
me with a complimentary copy of this book for review purposes.