Usually I attempt to persist with books that I feel tempted to drop, or at least to give them some more time and a second chance to prove me wrong, that they get more interesting and live up to their summaries. Rarely do I try to drop a book so early into it. But in this case I’ve had enough at 26% to come to a verdict:
“The Glassblower” is not historical fiction, nor is it a particularly good book, regardless of the genre it is.
Considering that the plot focuses on three young girls who were living pretty independently during their father’s death they sure were immature and foolish, or at least two of the three were in particular. Ruth, Marie and Johanna are all so similar and equally annoying that it’s difficult to not only care for any of them but to even tell them apart from each other. I understand that the author was attempting to set some sort of context with the time period but making your lead characters so painstakingly annoying is no way to try and win over a reader.
In fact, for a book that stresses the fact that their father’s death was so traumatic and important to them, the girls sure move on pretty quickly and not only that. Their constant contradictions about wanting to marry and then complaining about the men not being good enough turned the whole book into a German soap opera that I didn’t sign up for nor wanted to continue any further than I did.
Besides the things I mentioned above there isn’t much else. The 26% that I read was basically whining, a cast of very undeveloped characters being tossed around despite the fact that none of them were distinctive, and no perspective on where the book would go next. Throw in a lot of lengthy paragraphs about things that acted as space fillers rather than story developments and I gave up. There’s nothing in this book that’s appealing. It doesn’t live up to any of the things the summary makes it out to be. It’s a very floppy, wordy attempt at a historical fiction novel that barely sets its time period properly. It’s cast of characters is unappealing and aggravating. In short:
This is a literary hurdle I have no desire in jumping over as it isn’t worth the struggle.