Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: The Christmas Glass
Author: Marci Alborghetti
Release Date: October 2009
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: 2000, Connecticut/San Francisco
Overall Rating: 2.0
Sexual Content Rating: None
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: None/Mild
Violent Content Rating: None/Minimal
Marci's Website: www.guideposts.com
I read The Jesus Women that this author wrote a while back and I truly loved it. Unfortunately, I wasn't as enamored with this new offering.
The book starts out very well. We are with Anna, in Italty in 1940. Anna is a young woman who houses orphans during teh war. Three have just been brought to her who are of Jewish descent. Although there is fear in her heart that this could lead to pain and agony, Anna knows that with the Mussolini agreement between Italy and Nazi, Germany, that her home is probably the safest place for these orphans. One of the children, Sarah, sits with Anna as she rips up her wedding gown and packs up her Christmas Glass. This is a very beautiful story. There are twelve ornaments that are handblown, and beautifully painted. Every December 13th, Anna's mother brought down the fruitwood box and polished it to a high sheen, removing the dust that'd gathered over the year. She would carry the treasure box into the living room, throw open the drapes and place the twelve ornaments in the window. The light would sparkle off them like diamonds. It was a Christmas ritual that Anna has never forgotten. And she wants more than anything for the ornaments to be safe. She doesn't want them to end up in Nazi hands, so she packs them up and ships them off to Filomenia.
We are immediately brought to the year 2000 in America. Filomenia is the matriarch of a much-disturbed family. Her twin daugthers, Catharine and Maria no loger speak to each other. Catharine, who is the one close to her mother, has a sad past. She was in love with a young man named Daniel who moved to San Francisco. Instead of going with him, Catharine was guilted into staying in Connecticut by her mother, who said she needed Catharine's help. Catharine has held a grudge about this for quite a long time. Even worse, her sister, her best friend, has ended up over the years in San Francisco and married the boy she let "get away" all those years ago. Maria has her own problems. Her son, Mark, is married to a young woman, Serena. Serena believes that her mother-in-law dislikes her because she is from a poor Mexican background. Is her mother-in-law a closet bigot? Her son, Mark, has to "keep the peace" and he's getting tired of it.
Catharine's daughter's name is Evie. Evie is in love with a man named Tom who is a part of the Navy. He sets sail quite a bit lately, sick and tired of Evie's overbearing, problem-ridden family. There are also other characters such as, a pastor who married Mark and Serena; a handyman who was once in love with Filomena who stole a piece of the Christmas Glass from her house in order to have a "piece" of her, whose son, Michael, wants nothing more than to return it now that his father is gone; Guillermo, a friend of Anna's Sarah from the beginnign of the book, who has led a life that gained him freedom, but lost him a family; and the list goes on and on.
The moral of the story, to me, is that you should behold the blessings of the life you have. There are no squabbles that can't be solved; and no pain that can't be healed if you love and honor your family. Unfortunately, the participants in this particular clan gave me nothing more than a headache. Most of them were simply whining about nothing, and the matriarch of the family seemed more like Hitler than a woman whose time was up and wanted her family around her for one last Christmas. In fact, they all seemed to care a great deal more for the ornaments than they did for each other. Yes, I do understand the symbology of all of them trying to reuinite, and how the ornaments held the saddest and happiest times of their lives within the glass, but it was sadly, confusing.
I wished at the end that the story had stayed with Anna in Italy in 1940. I think if perhaps it was based on her and her orphans, the story would've been far more uplifting and worthy of the magic of Christmas. I wished at the end that the story had stayed with Anna in Italy in 1940. I think if perhaps it was based on her and her orphans, the story would've been far more uplifting and worthy of the magic of Christmas.
Until next time, Amy
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