So as previously discussed this was one of my choices for holiday reading in Venice, but in fact owing to all the amazing things to see and do in Venice I didn’t actually read this until the day I got back.
The story juxtaposes the story of Corradino Manin a 17th century Murano glassblower and his present day descendant Leonora, an English woman who travels to Venice to recover from her failed marriage and to find out about the mystery of Corradino. The plot revolves around Corradino selling secret Venetian glass methods to Louis XIV of France and then being hunted by the Venetian Council of Ten in order to punish him for this.
It is obviously well researched regarding the history of Venice and the techniques of glass blowing and there were fascinating facts to learn facts such as originally there were three of the famous pillars in the Grand Canal entrance to the Piazza San Marco but one fell in the sea, the public executions outside the Doge’s Palace, and the episode involving a giraffe drowning in the Grand Canal. The storyline however, is a little far-fetched in places, there arefar too many coincidences and incidentally I think a woman in labour might have more to think about that solving the mystery of her 17th century ancestor and his betrayal when she isn’t even that interested in finding out about her unknown father. However other readers have commented that Corradino seemed so real and is inserted into so many actual events that it confused some readers who thought he was a real character.
A good book to take on holiday for an easy but informative read.