Another book that I ended up finishing with a mix of various reactions, although in the end I did enjoy the book.
What drew me to this one was the unusual story line, quite unlike anything I have encountered before. I have a love for Italian crafts, especially glass, and to read a book that was loosely related to the subject grabbed my attention right away. It's also quite spectacular to see that an author created such a story based on only one single fact she stumble upon. The drawback, however, was that this seemingly charming tale didn't have that fairytale spark to it.
As many mentioned before, the decision to present the story into verse form really didn't work, and was quite the setback. There was only one chapter - "Two Suitable Suitors?" - that struck me as having the POTENTIAL of sounding like a poem, although it was very simple with it's rhyming and very straight-forward thoughts. The rest of the book was mostly just sentences that were divided up to give the visual effect of a poem, although the techniques weren't there. Perhaps then this should be not as a story written in poems but only as a story that appears in stanza/verse form. I don't know how that would be marketed, but to people who approach the story thinking the former will be rather disappointed.
The story is simple and the solution to the whole marriage "dilemma" was one I foresaw three-quarters of the way through the book, yet it was still pleasant how it was all "written out". I don't know what it is about the characters however but while they were developed and had their own distinct personality, everyone - and for once I really do mean EVERYONE - lacked some kind of spark to them. Maria is a character the reader really gets to know, especially because the story is in first character POV and her thoughts are laid out, but something was just missing. The same with her love for Luca - although he explained at the end about his feelings, I didn't feel like their love was genuine. It was more like the kind of love that is to be expected in stories because you already know that that's what's supposed to happen, according to the 'romance story formula'.
Overall, a light, pleasant read that I breezed through and that actually relaxed me, which is wonderful because everyone needs that kind of book once in a while, one that will take your mind off of things and put you at ease. It's a good leisurely read, nothing deep, but also sadly nothing that magical either as the fairytale-esque atmosphere I was so hoping for flew out the window as soon as I started reading.