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The Glass Blowers by Daphne du Maurier

DDM Reading Week 8-15 May, 2023, hosted by heavenali is over, but I have just recently finished the last book I wanted to read, The Glass Blowers. Liz Dexter at Adventures in reading, running and working from home is collecting your reviews. This is the last of the three books I already had on my shelves, and which I read ages ago. However, can't remember too much of them.

The Glass Blowers is actually a family saga about her own ancestors. That puts the book in a different light.

It tells the story of the glass blower family Busson, before, during and after the French revolution. Several of the siblings are trying their best to keep up with the parents heritage. Their sons Robert, Pierre, Michael and Francois, and their daughters Sophie and Edmé. The story is told by Sophie after her daughter, many years later, met a man with partly the same surname as they have. He turns out to be a grandson of her brother Robert. This is revealed at the very beginning of the book, so no spoiler.

It seems many readers are not so fascinated by this book by DDM. I can partly agree. It is the least likeable of the three books I read. I think it is due to the rather long parts of the fighting during the revolution. I also did find it a little bit too long. On the other hand, when you read something about the revolution it is usually about the royals or the nobility. I have a feeling this is the first time I get an account on what happened, on the ground, to ordinary people. DDM well describes the confusion during the first years after the revolution. The different fractions fighting against each other, the sense of chaos; who is in charge? Even the siblings sometimes end up on different, or opposite sights.

It is all made up by the end of the book, where you meet the family many years later. The descriptions on how peoples fared during times of turmoil, how they came out of it and how it affected their lives I found interesting. I also liked very much the ending. Even more so when I read DDM's afterwords that it was based, if even loosely, on her own family. She did a lot of research so the story is most likely based on realistic accounts.

This was it for now with DDM reading. I am still going to continue reading her books. I have really come into her way of writing with these three books, and the six novellas I read. Looking forward to more.

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May 29, 2023

I think I would like this *because* of the Revolutionary sections, as I do find the French Rev quite fascinating! :D

Jun 02, 2023
Replying to

I thought this section was a little bit too long. However, what I appreciated was to get a view from the 'streets'. Usually, we hear, or see, matters from the point of view of the upper class. DDM gives us a good view of how it was for ordinary people. The uncertainty, the chaos, the changing of powers etc. I found that fascinating.

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