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 Jost Steinmann passes away unexpectedly one September night, his three saughters must learn to fend for themselves. While feisty Johanna takes a practical approach to looking for work. Ruth follows her heart, aming to catch gthe eye of a handsome young villagere. But is is dreamy, quirt Marie who had always been the most capticated by the magic - and sparkling possibilities - of the craft of glassblowing. As the spirited sisters work together to forge a brighter future fr 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.
My previous experience of translated novels has not been good until recently and since then it has been blown away. Perhaps it was the subject matter that affected my previous experience or that modern translators are not so literal but convey the essence of the novel. Whatever it is I am glad that I have resumed my adventures into translated novels; otherwise this gem would have gone unread.
My initial reaction was how is this about the glassblower who dies in the first chapter leaving three daughters. Each daughter has a particular trait which most of us can identify with. The sisters relationships with each other is reasonably realistic and engaging; but at times annoying beyond belief (as it is with normal sisters). As we experience their trials and tribulations we also learn who the glassblower actually is.
This is not an historical novel per se and even the glass blowing elements (albeit fascinating when they occur) are few and far between. The characters are well written even though sometimes what they do or say is at odds with the setting of the novel; they are extremely interesting whilst they are extremely flawed. Initially they are portrayed as innocent and annoying, having been cosseted by their father (and not knowing the ways of the world – be it good or ill) but when they experience ‘real life; they become hardened to it; and move forward, and take on untraditional roles in their village of glassblowers. But the novel develops these characters and they become reasonably grounded women who have found their place in their world.
I cannot say that the action is constant or fast paced as they are periods of monotonous inactivity. Indeed the story line does not have a definite time line and appears to jump in places. Ultimately this is a novel of women overcoming adversity by becoming successful against all the odds.
This reader has becomes so involved with these women that she will be looking forward to reading the next novels in this series.
Full Disclosure: I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I rated this 4 stars on Netgalley and 'I really liked it' on Amazon (4 stars) and Goodreads (4 stars).