Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Paradise of Glass (The Glassblower Trilogy) by Petra Durst-Benning

What a series!! After reading, The Glassblower, I was an instant fan of Durst-Benning. So intrigued I had to move to the next in the series, The American Lady. Take a peek at both of my reviews 😊. 

Spending time in a novel is an investment of our time. We want to make the best of it, not wanting to feel we have wasted valuable time. Oh, this series is one you want to check out. It revolves around the glassblowers of Lauscha, Germany. Most of all the sisters who make their mark in history by standing up as women and doing things their own way. We see their strengths and their battles. We are allowed to witness these characters grow from being young girls at home with their father, to taking over the glassblowing business and creating something never imagined. 

For my Christian readers, this is not a Christian series. But as a lover of history and fiction I found myself swept away by the penned words of this author. I would share this series with my friends. 

This too is not a selection to read out of order. Yes, it could be read a stand-alone, but if so you will miss a great deal of understanding the heart of the Steinmann's. 

I love being introduced to new authors. That's what happened with this series. I am now reading another selection by this author, While The World Is Still Asleep. Another series that looks so inviting! 

Again in this series the author gives us great detail about the heart of the characters. In this novel the character focus is on Wanda, the daughter of Ruth, the middle sister of the Steinmann trio. 

Wanda travels from America, where she has been raised, to Lauscha. It's the year of 1911. She has heard so much of this glassblowing area, she knows this is where her family comes from, and she too is seeking something more. She is on the search to find out who she really is. She is a young character who has really fought to find out her true self. She's struggled in this with having parents who have given her everything. 

Wanda makes her way to Lauscha. She's here for a few months and has an opportunity to visit her Aunt Marie who is in Italy now with her new husband. Wanda wants to visit her and is allowed to make the trip. Circumstance happens, tragedy breaks her heart, and she is forced to make a decision that will effect the rest of her life. 

Laushca is home to her now. This is the place she has always dreamed to be the paradise of glass. We watch this young woman grow. She doesn't want to be under the shadow of her mother, but wants to stand out on her own like her Aunt Marie did. She's a dreamer and as we see she is fearless. We see her strengths and weaknesses. 

She's that young girl we can all relate to. She doesn't want to so much be alone. She thinks having a man with her somehow makes her more valuable. She soon realizes she on her own is worthy. 

During her visit home the aunt she is staying with, Johanna,  the oldest sister, travels with her husband to America to visit Wanda's mother, so we don't see this sister throughout the novel. I would have loved to see more of Johanna in these pages, but I understand the focus on Wanda. 

So, Wanda, in coming of herself and understanding all she can do in this small village, she wants to help the glassblowers as an outsider is about to make a purchase that will change life for everyone in Lauscha. This becomes the focus of the book, but there are many twists to the story-line as we get to see the prevailing of evil when people  decide to face their fear and doubt, taking a stand, even when the outcome is unknown. 

As much as I loved this series I was a little let down with this final novel of the series. I guess the first two held such beauty that I expected more. With that said, I enjoyed the journey with Wanda. We too see the relationship between Wanda and her mother, Ruth, grow. Yes, these sisters have come full circle as we are now seeing the second generation of women take their place and live as an example for others. 

Although the theme of this novel weaves around the decision of Wanda, it is about finding one's self, family, forgiveness, and acceptance. Most of all, leaving a legacy.Even though this novel wasn't all I had hoped it would be I wouldn't have put it down for anything. A great series that I will not soon forget.

This novel was a gift from Amazon-Crossing for sharing my review with you

Petra Durst-Benning has written seventeen novels. As a child and young woman, Durst-Benning frequently visited the United States, where she developed a passion for American fiction that has since inspired her own writing career. She now lives in her native Germany with her husband. 

Samuel Willcocks was a prolific translator from Czech, German, Romanian, and Slovene into English in many genres, including science fiction and historical novels. He studied languages and literature in Britian, Berlin, and Philadelphia before winning the German Embassy Award (London) for translation in 2010.


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