Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother's house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg's long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold. Read more...
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Since she was a child, Meg has dreamed of taking a promised trip to Florence, Italy, and being able to finally step into the place captured in a picture at her grandmother's house. But after her grandmother passes away and it falls to her less-than-reliable father to take her instead, Meg's long-anticipated travel plans seem permanently on hold.
When her dad finally tells Meg to book the trip, she prays that the experience will heal the fissures left on her life by her parents' divorce. But when Meg arrives in Florence, her father is nowhere to be found, leaving aspiring memoir-writer Sophia Borelli to introduce Meg to the rich beauty of the ancient city. Sofia claims to be one of the last surviving members of the Medici family and that a long-ago Medici princess, Nora Orsini, communicates with her from within the great masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance.
When Sophia, Meg, and Nora's stories intersect, their lives will be indelibly changed as they each answer the question: What if "renaissance "isn't just a word? What if that's what happens when you dare to believe that what "is "isn't "what has to be"?
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-07-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Travelogue, history lesson, mystery, romance—the newest from veteran author Meissner (The Shape of Mercy) combines a bit of all to create a delightful tale that will take readers into the heart of Florence, Italy. Travel-book editor Meg Pomeroy thinks of Florence as home, though she’s never visited despite her dad’s vow to take her. When the promised trip materializes, Meg thinks her dreams have come true despite misgivings about her father’s motives, her mother’s dating a younger man, and her own ambivalence about dating again after she breaks off her engagement. The trip is a chance to connect with Lorenzo DiSantis, a writer she’s met only via Skype and e-mail, and Sofia Borelli, a memoir writer who says she’s a Medici descendant and whose book enchants Meg from the first word. Sofia believes that Nora Orsini, a Medici granddaughter, speaks to her through the art of Florence. Meissner blends Nora’s, Sofia’s, and Meg’s stories with a deft hand, creating a layered work of art sure to enchant readers. Agent: Chip MacGregor, MacGregor Literary. (Sept.)
Dealing with life's trials and tribulations
Strength of character and overcoming hardship to discover better times ahead are the central themes of three delightful new fiction releases that will warm the heart.
Gabriel Clarke was born to be on “The River”—his father and grandfather were whitewater guides who appreciated all the subtle nuances and moods of the Whitefire River, deep in the Colorado Rockies. But when he was five, Gabriel’s world was ripped asunder when his father’s attempt to save a kayaker went horribly wrong. After moving to live with his mother in Cairo, Kansas, fun-loving Gabriel becomes insecure and withdrawn. Years later, a job with a rafting company offers Gabriel the opportunity to reconnect in full—not only with The River, but also with his past—but only if he has the strength of character to move beyond his anger and childhood pain.
Michael Neale’s The River gently sweeps readers along like a leaf in a current as Gabriel struggles with beginning a new life after a terrible loss. Throughout this artfully crafted story is a genuine sense of The River as a force of nature to be reckoned with, respected and learned from.
Charming and smoothly paced, The Girl in the Glass recreates the feeling of walking the streets of Florence, Italy, and is populated with warm, generous-hearted characters. Thirty-year-old Meg Pomeroy has a good job as an editor for a travel guide publisher, yet travels very little. She clings to the hope that her financially irresponsible father will make good on his promise to take her to Florence. When he finally appears to be following through, and then fails spectacularly, Meg swallows her disappointment and decides to go to Florence alone. She meets up with two of her publishing connections: author and tour guide Sofia Borelli, and photographer Lorenzo. Meg has been trying to publish Sofia’s short stories, based on the life of Sofia’s ancestor, Nora, and she has worked on projects with Lorenzo and his sister for several years. Now that she and Lorenzo have met, Meg can’t help but respond to his infectious charm. But is what she feels for Lorenzo the real deal or a travel romance?
Susan Meissner, author of The Shape of Mercy and A Sound Among the Trees, maintains a smooth pace and believable dialogue throughout—even if Meg seems a little old-fashioned. Sofia’s story is even more interesting as the painful truths of her life reveal a vulnerable, broken woman struggling to come to terms with a traumatic past.
Michael Morris spins an excellent yarn about a Deep South community circa World War I in Man in the Blue Moon. As a young woman, Ella Wallace was a promising art student looking forward to furthering her studies in France—but that was before she became infatuated with the charismatic, free-spending Harlan. Eighteen weary years later, Ella is disillusioned and raising three boys alone after Harlan ran away to escape his debts. Local banker Clive Gillespie can’t wait to get his hands on her piece of Florida property, which contains a natural spring with reputed healing powers, and Ella is on the verge of foreclosure when she receives notice that a clock has been delivered for her. When Ella and her boys unpack the crate, it isn’t a clock they discover but a man: Lanier Stillis, a distant cousin of Harlan, hiding from his ex-in-laws. And this is only the first of the surprises Lanier brings.
Morris encapsulates the hypocrisy, pettiness, greed and outright meanness that are often a part of small-town life, yet his story manages to avoid being too dark or depressing despite the bad things that happen to some of its characters. Don’t miss this thoughtful, poignant tale of love, loss and redemption steeped in the heat and natural beauty of the Deep South.