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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Review: The Glassblower by Petra Durst-Benning

Title: The Glassblower
Author: Petra Durst-Benning
Series: The Glassblower Trilogy, book 1
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: AmazonCrossing
Source: Review copy from publisher
Format: E-book
In the village of Lauscha in Germany, things have been done the same way for centuries. The men blow the glass, and the women decorate and pack it. But when Joost Steinmann passes away unexpectedly one September night, his three daughters must learn to fend for themselves. While feisty Johanna takes a practical approach to looking for work, Ruth follows her heart, aiming to catch the eye of a handsome young villager. But it is dreamy, quiet Marie who has always been the most captivated by the magic—and sparkling possibilities—of the craft of glassblowing. As the spirited sisters work together to forge a brighter future for themselves on their own terms, they learn not only how to thrive in a man’s world, but how to remain true to themselves—and their hearts—in the process.
The Glassblower is the first book in The Glassblower Trilogy by Petra Durst-Benning.

The Glassblower is the story of three sisters Johanna, Ruth and Marie, who grew up protected by their loving father, Joost Steinmann. When Joost suddenly passes away, the three sisters find themselves without a job and without the protection of a man. They worked for their father in his glassblowing business and now they don’t know what to do with their lives. They can’t follow their father’s steps because glassblowing is a profession exclusively for men.
Forced to look after themselves they realized the good life they had is far behind and to succeed they will have to work hard and fight for what they want.

The three sisters are very different from each other. The eldest, Johanna, is the businesswoman of the family. She has high ambitions and it’s willing to go out of her comfort zone to obtain what she wants, sadly not always with good results.

Ruth is the middle sister and the romantic of the lot. She wants a husband and a family to call her own, but her naivetĂ© doesn’t let her see what is clear to others.

The youngest sister, Marie, is the artist of the family. She dreams of glass, designs and beauty. She is determined to follow her dreams and is willing to go against tradition or anything that opposes her dreams.

The Glassblower’s story is good. I liked that is set in the late nineteenth century in the little town of Lauscha, Germany. I liked that is a real town famous for its glass works. I liked what I learned about glassblowing and I liked the characters. Sadly the writing wasn’t on a par with the story. I blame this not on the author but on the translation. The dialogues were very flat and unmoving, especially in the very emotional parts. Because of this I had trouble getting into the story, by the 15% mark I was almost ready to give up, but I’m glad I kept going because at the end I realized I really enjoyed reading this book.

I usually don’t read translated books because I think they lose a lot in translation. When I requested The Glassblower I didn’t know it was originally written in German and translated to English, I know it’s my fault, I didn’t read the little print. I think if I had known I would have not requested it, but now that I have read it I can’t help but wonder what is coming next in the lives of the Steinmann sisters, for that reason I will be looking forward to the release of second book in this trilogy, The American Lady, to be release (in English) on March 10th, 2015, I just hope the translation of The American Lady will be better than in this one.

My Verdict: 3 ½ Paws

Other books in the series
The Glassblower
The American Lady (March 10th, 2015)
Das Gläserne Paradies (Release date & title in English TBA)

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. This is on my maybe list. I have heard great things about the original but I have heard the translation lacks. I don't know German though so there is that !

    1. I'm sure this book is great in German. I hate when books lose so much in translation. :(

  2. Replies
    1. I don't know if you know German... if you do, read it in German.

  3. I don't like books that have been translated either. I probably wouldn't have made it all the way through. I am glad you ended up liking it :)

    1. I'm planning to read second book. Let's see how that goes.


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