The Glassblower combines the enchanting story-telling of a historical aficionado and wordsmith, with layered characters and a suspenseful plot full of lovely imagery and romantic interludes which take the reader to another time and place. The second half of the book leaps from a brisk trot to a gallop in pace, and I stayed up all night to finish it once the momentum took hold of me.
Meg Jordan is the only daughter of Isaac Jordan, a widower and owner of a large farm and glassworks in early 19th century New Jersey. Her sweet, assertive nature wins her father’s favor in everything from adopting stray kittens to preparing a school for the children of Salem County—everything, that is, except the husband of her choosing. Her father has informed her that she must marry Joseph Pyle, the wealthy, young land-owner whose smile doesn’t reach his eyes when he looks at Meg.
A new man—Colin Grassick—arrives in town, a master glassblower from Scotland whom her father has brought over to turn the finances of the glassworks around. His emerald eyes and warm, courtly ways captivate Meg as he helps her rescue a kitten in peril. But a girl of her station must not associate with a working man. Colin could lose his job, or worse, if caught consorting to the master’s daughter, especially when a series of events points to sabotage of Meg’s school and an accident at the glassworks.
Particular highlights for me were the wedding scene of Meg’s friend Sarah, with its rich descriptions of period apparel and the contrast between Joseph’s and Colin’s characters. The Christmas party made a nice touch to bring the romance to a satisfying conclusion. The theme of trusting God to work in seemingly impossible circumstances imparted inspiration without feeling extraneous or false. The hero and heroine exemplified the character and choices that made the happily-ever-after not only believable, but well-deserved.