Book Title: The Glassblower (The Glassblower Trilogy #1)
Book Author: Petra Durst-Benning
Book Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆ (5 out of 5 stars)
Synopsis: “In the village of Lauscha in Germany, things have been done the same way for centuries. The men blow the glass, and the women decorate and pack it. But when Joost Steinmann passes away unexpectedly one September night, his three daughters must learn to fend for themselves. While feisty Johanna takes a practical approach to looking for work, Ruth follows her heart, aiming to catch the eye of a handsome young villager. But it is dreamy, quiet Marie who has always been the most captivated by the magic—and sparkling possibilities—of the craft of glassblowing. As the spirited sisters work together to forge a brighter future for themselves on their own terms, they learn not only how to thrive in a man’s world, but how to remain true to themselves—and their hearts—in the process.”
I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this novel! It is beautifully written and each of the characters are so wonderfully developed. I received this book through Amazon’s Kindle First book of the month. The books I have gotten through this program in the past have been sort of hit and miss, but this one was a real treat. This book reminded me of one of my all-time favorite novels, Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald in that it is another historical fiction novel that centers primary on three very close, yet very different, sisters. Originally published in German several years ago, this novel is part of a trilogy that is in the process of being translated to the English language for the first time. This first offering in the series will be making making its English debut on November 1, 2014.
Taking place at the end of the nineteenth century, we are introduced to the Steinmann family. Joost Steinmann is a glassblower who lives in a small German village with his three daughters, his wife having passed away some years before. Like most other households in their tiny town, the men blow the glass and the women decorate the beautifully crafted pieces. However, when their beloved father suddenly passes away, the young sisters must find a way to take care of and support themselves, often with results that vary between highly impressive and utterly heartbreaking. Having been sheltered and protected by their father, the women have a lot to learn. Each of the Steinmann sisters brings something unique and delightful to the table. Johanna, the eldest, is smart and resourceful, with a determination to care for her sisters. Ruth, the romantic, longs to get married and isn’t afraid to follow her heart. The youngest of the sisters, Marie, is the artist and the dreamer, and often underestimated by her two sisters.
I would highly recommend this novel to any one who enjoys historical fiction, or has any interest in German culture. The art of glassblowing was clearly thoroughly research by the author, and it was interesting to read about this under appreciated craft. I will most certainly be reading the next two installments of this saga!