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The Glassblower's Daughter [Kindle Edition]

Frances Clarke
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Greta's life is carefree until the abrupt disappearance of her elder sister, and all her courage can't save her from the sinister shadows that engulf her. Even when she finds a way out betrayal and treachery threaten her.

'This is a wonderful first novel and Greta is a winning heroine. The writing is powerful, lyrical and funny… '

(Rebecca Smith, author of 'A Bit of Earth' (Bloomsbury 2006; paperback edition, 2007)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Frances Clarke is the author of 'The Glassblower's Daughter', a novel and 'Unusual Salami and other stories' (short stories) and is currently writing more stories for another collection plus working on a memoir-type book about her mother and a second novel which is set in Southampton and opens as the 2nd world war begins.

Product Details

  • File Size: 667 KB
  • Print Length: 350 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1499262205
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SP6EI0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,030 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars breathtaking. November 5, 2011
By R. Wood
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not sure how to categorize this- historical fiction? suspense? Mystery? all of the above.

This book reads like a single sentence, in that it is so seamlessly, exquisitely woven, it flows like a completely natural and unstoppable expression of a life from the moment the reader begins it. It is like picking up a life- between its covers, the events of this life are occurring, and when one picks up the book one simply hops on the train and is completely involved. It left me breathless; I stayed up until almost 3 am finishing it, feeling like I hadn't blinked from the moment I picked it up.
It unfurls before the reader in sumptuous language, in exquisite detail, in breathtakingly, impeccably, REAL imagery.

There are moments of poetic, Virginia Woolf-esque language which capture the essence of the main character's experience so completely, one can feel, see, hear along with her. There are moments of down-to-earth, commonsense rationality which serve as a beautiful counterpoint, thus ensuring that the novel never falls into maudlin dramatics (which, given the subject matter, it very well could have.)

The author handles the subject matter with genius. It would have been easy to distance from it by focusing on the emotions evoked, thus creating a more predictable piece of work...this never happens.

Oh, the emotions are there, and they are real, but that's just it- they are real. They are shown, not told. We, the reader, get to figure things out...

If I had been told what this book was about, I would never have picked it up. I would have wanted to spare myself the pain.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Would have paid for it, had I known how amazing it was! November 21, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have "reviewed" only 2 other books since I started using Amazon years ago, but I was so baffled by the 3 1/2 star rating after I finished this one, that I had to comment. I think any negativity from readers is due to being put off by the "accent" of one Scottish character, by people who find colloquialisms difficult. I don't know how else to account for it.

This book is absolutely enthralling. There is not a wasted word or gratuitous passage. The language is lyrical without being gooey or obtuse. The author has taken a horrifying subject and expressed it beautifully, with clarity coming to the reader only slightly ahead of, or concurrently with, the main character. Even when you think you can see something coming, it surprises you. Best of all was the focus on the relationships of the protagonist with her fellow victims, rather than the victimizer. Her years of functioning "normally" through heartache and confusion resonate with authenticity. There is not a single dropped thread. It is just a gorgeous read and I can't wait to see more by this author.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching, sensitive November 15, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This story takes place in Great Britain. There are only a handfull of sentences that are spoken by one character that originated from Scotland. I've had conversations with a gentlemen from Scotland and found it very hard to understand him. I read the sentences over a couple times and was able to get the meaning. If one has not had any contact with anyone from England or read stories by people from England, might find it difficult to understand at times. One reviewer gave the story one star for this reason. However,this is a wonderful, sensitive story that is well worth the effort and time spent reading it. Was a little slow in the first two chapters, but then was pulled in by the story. I love beautiful, descriptive sentences and this book overflows with them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written. February 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I think the top reviewer (Raven) did a great job of describing this book's merits, but I'm compelled to add my own review because I'm sorry for the 3.5 star average. This book deserves better! Lyrically and precisely written, I found myself identifying with Greta in a way I wouldn't have thought possible, given her atrocious abuse at the hands of her father and later her colleagues.

I generally do NOT read many books pertaining to the disturbing subjects of child abuse, molestation, etc ... I really prefer to be entertained and 'escape' into my novels. The beginning (and parts of the middle and end!) was (were) a torment; no argument there. But there was something about the struggle of Greta that was beautiful and inspiring. It felt real; I could identify more clearly the origins of MY self-doubt afterwards, I commiserated with her friendships as they drifted apart and then back together, I understood her longings and confusion.

I also loved the ending ... it just felt right and was a beautiful conclusion for Greta but also a fresh beginning. If you really abhor anything with dark subject matter, avoid this book. Otherwise, you're in for a treat.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I could not even finish this book February 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read at least half the book. I tried to finish it because I really wanted to know what happened to the older sister. I just could not continue. It felt that there was no actual plot, just a rambling, jumpy account of the younger sister's life. I did not like it at all and do not recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read with a clever twist January 8, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
A good read which keeps you motivated to know what happens to the older sister as the younger one goes through university and later llife. The story is excellently written and keeps to the flavour of the period (1960s) exceptionally well. Characters are well drawn. It ends with an interesting twist to the plot. Why did this book not get an established publisher?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good one
Published 4 months ago by WAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Real life drama
The book is well-written and the storyline is very believable. The author manages to draw you into the plot and keep you involved in the story. I couldn't put it down.
Published 7 months ago by Gila
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for a free book
Although the book moved slowly at times, I found myself drawn into the main character's story. Kept me guessing until the end.
Published 9 months ago by Liz A. Barry
4.0 out of 5 stars compelling story
Beautifully worded story about feelings and heartache over childhood. The author describes poetically and with feeling the characters horror and coping with events. Read more
Published 12 months ago by GrammieB
4.0 out of 5 stars Unusually interesting
The Glassblower's Daughter is a story that encompasses tragedy and joy. Despite repeated let downs, Greta continues on and finds her own peace in life.
Published 15 months ago by Lovetoshop
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
I'm not sure why I ordered this, but I'm glad I did. The subject matter is mature, but it was written in an empowering way.
Published 16 months ago by Maureen Neighbors
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, but....
This book was very well written, however, the subject matter was disturbing and more than a little depressing. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Betty
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart rending read.
Reading this very moving book, I kept forgetting that I wasn't reading a memoir; beautifully written with an unusual plot.
Published 21 months ago by Tracker
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and gripping
Quite a surprising find. This is an involved and subtly told tale of childhood sexual abuse, interwoven with interesting details of an obscure profession. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Steve in Japan
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant (some story spoilers)
I cried a lot (not to give a plot point away sorry) since I have been a victim of sexual abuse it did hit home. But it is well written and wasn't boring at any point for me.
Published 22 months ago by Kelly McGowan
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More About the Author

Frances Clarke's first book was 'The Glassblower's Daughter', first published by Smashwords as an Ebook, in 2010 and then as a paperback, with Wordclay, in May 2011. A collection of short stories: 'Unusual Salami' was published at around the same time. There are more short stories ready to be published in a collection, some of which have been featured in live story events in the UK e.g. 'Kenny' performed at Liar's League,
A second novel has been delayed due to a third book which demanded to be written. It is almost ready for publication and the author is hoping to get back to the 'second' novel some time in 2013.
Her blog at tries to keep all the projects in order.
Editing (academic monographs as well as other people's fiction and non-fiction) keeps her busy, and she works part time as a Multidisciplinary Research Coordinator at the University of Southampton in the UK.

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