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The Glass Maker

Chevalier, the author of Girl With A Pearl Earring, is a master of historical fiction, and her new book, a vivid portrayal of Renaissance-era Italy, is no diversion. Moving through to the present day with the Rosso family, glassmakers in Murano across the harbor from Venice, the narrative is steeped in a rich historical backdrop. When Orsola Rosso's father dies, she looks to the only female glassmaker in Italy to teach her how to make glass beads so she can help support her family, all while falling in love with a fisherman's son from Venice who is taken on as an apprentice in her family's studio. The inner workings of glass blowing, the politics of Venetian society, multigenerational family dynamics, and matters of the heart versus tradition and expectation are all on display in this sweeping read. Chevalier does something a little trippy with time here, so pay attention to the prologue so you aren't scratching your head at the end. For lovers of historical fiction, this is your perfect summer book!