A wonderful combination of mystery, historical intrigue, and love, written by an English/Venetian author, which tells a story of passion, genius and betrayal linking the present and the past.
Nora Manin decides to leave her fractured life in London to start again in Venice, and there begins to unravel the story of her ancestor, Corradino Manin, the greatest artist of glass that the island of Murano ever produced.
©2009 Beautiful Books Ltd; (P)2009 Beautiful Books Ltd
A gorgeous and decadent listen. One reviewer wrote that it was "operatically overblown", and I can only raise one eyebrow to this reviewer who has surely never been to Venice. Certainly the writer would have been helped by a sharper editor and perhaps a thesaurus (a few too many "peerless smiles" and offers of "respite" escaped the editor's pencil), although repetition was used elsewhere to great effect in weaving the stories of past and present together. So beautifully done that you can easily forgive a bit of contrivance here and there. I loved it and enjoyed floating in and out of old and new Venice. Kudos to the narrators, well chosen, whose performance added much to the experience. Great summer/holiday/treat read, well worth the credit. Recommended!
One of those listens that is hard to put down. The characters were believable. The story was interesting. And the narrators were spot on. The descriptions of the glassblowing were of such that you could almost convince yourself you actually saw it!!
The only thing I didn't like about the audio was the instrumental between chapters. The instrumental wasn't bad but the volume was, irritatingly, louder than the narration.
This was a decent story but the readers used very quiet voices in order to mimic the style of the author and this made it very difficult to hear. I have been an Audible customer for more than seven years and never written a review. In this case, though, I felt like it was important for others who like to read while they do other things (like dishes) that they wouldn't be able to hear the readers.
I loved the book, the characters were memorable and the descriptions of Venice beautiful, but what producer would play music at least ten times louder than the voice level of the actors. I would be reading quietly at night and deep into the story then music would blare out loudly. Very off putting. Will definitely read this author again only if with a different audio producer.
Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books
I was pleasantly surprised by this very entertaining story set in past and present day Venice which presents characters who are flawed and very believable. The plot may be somewhat contrived but the characters bring the reader into it.
The city of Venice was one of my favorite characters in this book.
This book merges two stories together. A modern story of a woman searching for her Venetian roots and the story of her ancestor, a famous glassblower from Murano. We learn of the glassblower's art and it's history. We learn of current life in Venice and Murano. I gave a greater appreciation for the hall of mirrors at Versailles. While previously visiting I never understood the implications of where the mirrors came from. It was a marvel for the time. Mirrors are so commonplace nowadays, but they were something special and rare back then. And the techniques used to make those mirrors were most likely stolen from Murano.
The romance, the ties between history and present day.
The choice to have two readers, one for each period in time made it so much easier to follow. They also both brought the words to life, rich with imagery while also handling the character voice changes as needed.
Although I don't usually enjoy period pieces, I did love this. I loved the setting and enjoyed imagining Venice, Murano, France.
I really enjoyed the narrators but the sound levels were awful.
Female narrator was very quiet, male louder- but whispered often- and the music between was beautiful but piercingly loud. I was constantly turning my levels up and down.
Very enjoyable book.
"Will not keep you awake at night"
I found that the story itself was quite interesting, but found the narration and the writing rather simplified and not very sophisticated for my taste for such an historical topic such as Venice, Murano and the Doges palace. For me, the male narrators mild English regional accent, modern style and tone struck me as slightly bizarre, bearing in mind that he was talking about Italians in the 1500's, although the style in which the novel is written partially forced this I think. He does put on an Italian accent for the characterizations. Very light listening, will not keep you awake at night.
"Average at best "
a passable novel but the music and male narrator are very irritating. I wouldn't recommend it.
I really enjoyed this book. Loved Vennis, the parallel stories in different centuries and the glass!
"Great storytelling, not sure about the music?"
I haven't read the book
The final chapter is actually very good, everything comes together.
I'd find this hard to choose. I really liked how the story goes back and forth in time.
I listen to audio books as a way to get to sleep using 15 minute bursts to help me unwind. I regularly listened to more of this one though because the story was so involved.
I really enjoyed this book overall. The female voice was excellent, the male voice on occasion could be rushed, but perhaps that was a part of the acting.
For me the musical interludes were too dramatic, this is because I listen while falling asleep and the music would often be so loud that it brought me fully awake again.
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