Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Christmas Glass

Author: Marci Alborghetti
Publisher: Guideposts
October 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8249-4776-7
Genre: Inspirational/women’s fiction

Anna’s mother gave Anna the box of Christmas glass for a wedding present. It was a box that her own mother had been given as a wedding present years earlier. But now, with the Nazi’s invading, and Jews in danger, Anna feels that the Christmas glass would be safer with her sister, Filomena, who lived in the southern tip of Italy, and was hoping to move to America. So, Anna ships the box of Christmas glass off to her cousin.

Years have passed. Now Filomena is old, and living in an assisted living apartment. But her family is pushing her into moving to “the dying place”, the part of the nursing home for those who need more long-term help. But Filomena is objecting. Unless her family agrees to come together one last Christmas…and bring the pieces of the Christmas glass together, which she had divided up between her daughters and friends of the family.

But Filomena’s twin daughters, Marie and Catharine haven’t spoken in years. Not since Marie’s husband died, and she got remarried to Catharine’s high school boyfriend. Catharine feels that Marie had betrayed her. But since Catharine had returned Daniel’s ring and married someone else, Marie didn’t feel she’d done anything wrong. How can Marie possibly honor her mother’s wish and return home for Christmas when Catharine would be there? If she does go, will it be a wondrous reunion, or a disaster that would shatter them all?

THE CHRISTMAS GLASS is the first book I’ve read by this author. Beautifully published, in hard cover, this book would be excellent for gift giving this holiday season. However, the story is rather slow, and it takes some time to get into. I never did grow to care about the characters, and I couldn’t understand some of the mindsets some of the members possessed.

Filomena is a very strong willed, bitter woman, and it seemed as if her daughter, Catharine, was the same way. Marie fled as far from her family as she possibly could, going from Connecticut to California, both to be near her son, and to marry her second husband, but it also fueled the distance between the sisters.

THE CHRISTMAS GLASS is a story about a family trying to heal the fractures that occurred over time, fractures that have healed and scarred, and may not be able to ever be properly healed. Still, it is a Christmas story that will stay with the reader that stays with the book. $15.99 hardcover, 304 pages.

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