Saturday, September 8, 2012

Book Review: Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
160 Pages

Maria is the younger daughter of an esteemed family on the island of Murano, the traditional home for Venetian glassmakers. Though she longs to be a glassblower herself, glassblowing is not for daughters—that is her brother's work. Maria has only one duty to perform for her family: before her father died, he insisted that she be married into the nobility, even though her older sister, Giovanna, should rightfully have that role. Not only is Giovanna older, she's prettier, more graceful, and everyone loves her. 

Maria would like nothing more than to allow her beautiful sister, who is far more able and willing to attract a noble husband, to take over this role for her. But they cannot circumvent their father's wishes. And when a new young glassblower arrives to help the family business and Maria finds herself drawn to him, the web of conflicting emotions grows even more tangled.



Sisters of Glass was very, very short. I read it in less than two hours. Just because I read it quickly, does not mean that I enjoyed it. I liked it, yes, but I would never immediately recommend it to anyone. It's not that Sisters of Glass is a bad novel, because it's not. I just won't remember it after awhile. In my opinion, it is an easily forgotten novel.

Even now, just a few days after finishing it, I'm having trouble remember the characters' names. Besides Luca… Because I kind of adore Luca. A lot. More than a lot. I love him immensely. As you read, you don't see a whole lot of him. The focus of the novel is usually on the sisters, Giovanna and Maria, and how they are changing as they get older. But his role in the story is larger than it seems and what you do see of him? He just is brutish, all quiet and strength. For some reason, I find it irresistible.

I didn't enjoy the flashbacks. The setup of the novel often confused me. The story is written in verse and I've never really enjoyed reading those kinds of novels. This was very short though, so that made it easier to get through. There were parts of the plot I enjoyed and found myself immersed in the story, but there were other parts that I grew bored and sped through.

There was a part closer to the end that tugged at my heartstrings. The sisters are trying to find their way as their thoughts war against what they want to do and what they need to do. Duty and honor or lifelong happiness. Maria and Giovanna must work together so that they can have all three. The lack of communication is what really is the driving force behind the conflict. If the sisters had opened up about their true feelings, things would've gone much smoother. I believe that with the time period and setting of where Sisters of Glass took place, the conflict fits very well. It's set in 1291, during the rein of the Venetian government over the glassmakers, which if you didn't catch from the title, includes Maria and Giovanna's family.

This book was a sweet, short read. Like I said earlier, I probably won't remember it later, but as I think of it now, I would definitely recommend it to the younger age group of young adults. I think the fast pace and quick read that ends on a happy note.

I received and e-copy of this novel from the publisher through Netgalley for my honest opinion and review.

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