The Glass Ocean

The Glass Ocean A story of love art and obsession in Victorian England from debut novelist Lori BakerThe Glass Ocean is a story of becoming Flamehaired six foot two in stocking feet newly orphaned Carlotta Dell o

  • Title: The Glass Ocean
  • Author: Lori Baker
  • ISBN: 9781594205361
  • Page: 129
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A story of love, art, and obsession in Victorian England from debut novelist Lori BakerThe Glass Ocean is a story of becoming Flamehaired, six foot two in stocking feet, newly orphaned Carlotta Dell oro recounts the lives of her parents solitary glassmaker Leopoldo Dell oro and beautiful, unreachable Clotilde Girard and discovers in their loves and losses, their omissionsA story of love, art, and obsession in Victorian England from debut novelist Lori BakerThe Glass Ocean is a story of becoming Flamehaired, six foot two in stocking feet, newly orphaned Carlotta Dell oro recounts the lives of her parents solitary glassmaker Leopoldo Dell oro and beautiful, unreachable Clotilde Girard and discovers in their loves and losses, their omissions and obsessions, the circumstances of her abandonment and the weight of her inheritance With a master artisan s patience and exquisite craft, debut novelist Lori Baker has created a gemlike Victorian world, a place where mistakes of the past reappear in the future, art can destroy, and family is not to be trusted Leopoldo and Clotilde meet in 1841 aboard the Narcissus, on an expedition led by Clotilde s magnanimous, adventuring father It s Leopoldo s task to document the animals of the high sea, and by his skilled hand the drawings become the only record of these secretive creatures existence But what possesses his mind is golden Clotilde, and soon his papers fill with images of her, beginning a devotion that will prove inescapable Clotilde meanwhile sees only her dear papa, but when he goes missing she is pushed to Leopoldo, returning with him to the craggy English shores of Whitby, the place to which Leopoldo vowed he would never return There they form an uneasy coexistence, lost to each other Clotilde asks only for her papa, and Leopoldo turns to town, where he finds himself in the employ of a local glassblower There, he begins to conceive his newest project transforming his sketches into glass, blowing life and light into the darkest creatures But in finding his art he surrenders Clotilde, and the distance between the two is only confirmed by the birth of baby Carlotta Years have passed and Carlotta is now grown A friend from the past comes to Whitby and with his arrival sets in motion the Dell oros inevitable disintegration Soon Carlotta is left alone to determine the course of her future, though perhaps it is written already In hypnotic, inimitable prose Lori Baker s The Glass Ocean transforms a story of family into something as otherworldly and mesmerizing as life beneath the sea itself.

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    About "Lori Baker"

    1. Lori Baker

      Lori Baker s books include a novel, The Glass Ocean, and three short story collections, Crash Tell Stories, Crazy Water Six Fictions, and Scraps She has taught writing at Brown University, Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and Boston College She lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island.

    647 thoughts on “The Glass Ocean”

    1. When I began reading this story I was barely trudging through and then the appearance of gems, which I plucked, in the form of sentences that suddenly changed the tone of the entire book for me. This strange novel pulled me in and it was a slow bleed.First, I have to address the feelings of frustration other reviewers mention over the slow, muddled beginning. You have to adjust to the writing, much as one would a poem. The language is beautiful but most of us don't prance about speaking like thi [...]

    2. POSSIBLE SPOILERS!Seductive prose that reflects the themes and conceits of the novel. The ocean, in the rhythms its tides and currents and strange depths is turned into flowing language and cadences. Somehow, Lori Baker also manages to marry art and science in her language: at times the poetic and dreamlike language becomes analytical, almost taxonomic, such as in the long lists that appear on a page. Beautiful synchronicity of style and theme.I loved the settings of the ship of scientific endea [...]

    3. This has to be one of the most beautifully written books I’ve read so far this year. The prose’s lushness left me stunned many times, and the story itself is delicately written. I loved the way the story was told, with the narrator weaving the plot along, almost making it happen as she imagines it. There were so many fabulous details of the Victorian period, including details to do with ships and seafaring, that the reader really felt immersed in the age. The story is like an old, kind of wo [...]

    4. Perhaps one of best and smartest books I've read -- the quality of the writing is amazing and the narrative shook me. Carlotta is trying to find her way in the face of being abandoned by both her mother and her father, and to understand their obsessions, their reasons for doing something so unthinkable. She is an empathic narrator (she has empathy) even to the point where she tries to understand the actions that hurt her to the core. Even more to the point is the wonder of the world she describe [...]

    5. I will not star this book because I quit at page 54. Received it in a giveaway.Seems to be the type of book that wins a literary award and lingers about a century longer than it should to torment high school students by being an enforced reading assignment. I have no doubt that some overeducated academic will espouse that this book is well written because of this or that; but I think it's just really wordy and obnoxious.The author has chosen to thumb her nose at what would be considered convent [...]

    6. This is an exquisite and harrowing work of literary fiction. So many images and passages will stay with me. I grew to care deeply for each of the three main characters – the heartbreaking narrator and her two exceptional parents – even when I did not always like what they did. I found myself marveling at the beautiful quality and control of language – on par with the best lyrical fiction — and the remarkably rich sensory world. I have to say that Lori Baker's ability to bring art and sci [...]

    7. I received a copy of this book through a giveaway.The beginning of this novel began slowly for me. At first, I had to push myself to keep reading a little bit every night, until finally the story picked up in the second section. After that, I found the book to be a wonderful escape - I could very easily place myself in the world Lori Baker created around the lives of several tragic characters. The middle of the book, for me, was fast reading, and thoroughly enjoyable. The end slowed down a bit [...]

    8. This book employs lush poetic language. I would go so far as to say that the rhythms of language are central to the characterizations and setting of the book. The author's work with phrasing, with the momentum of clauses within a sentence and how they conjure an atmosphere, era, and person was a great pleasure for me, though I would acknowledge that for those readers who want a more plot-driven novel, this style might be discomfiting. It's clear that an enormous amount of research went into the [...]

    9. Fascinating story based on quirky, obsessive real people. The point of view was bizarre--inconsistent--the narrator speaks from the POV of an unborn child who somehow can see everything about her parents' lives and be inside their minds before she was even conceived. That was hard to take, but the characters are portrayed with passion and subtlety. I'd put it halfway into the magical realism genre, but also squarely into historical fiction with gorgeous period detail.

    10. This is a slow book. One that allows the beauty of the language to tell the story without giving too much away. Carlotta is an orphan that creates the story of her parents as she tells it, imagining what they would have felt or said or done. Although a sad story, it is beautifully written and one that I am very glad to have immersed myself in. This was a Giveaway.

    11. I can count on the fingers of my two hands the number of books of true literature I've read that were first published since 2000 -- and this is one of them. Baker has a keen ear for the sentence, for rhythm, and how that rhythm solidifies the content. She is a materialist -- making the words convey through their sense of sound as well as through their sense of meaning. This skill and attention is rare in any era, but at this point something of a lost art. I'd read her just for that ability alone [...]

    12. I like to read challenging books -- but ones that also have an emotional center. The Glass Ocean is definitely a challenging and deeply emotion-filled book -- pulsating language, descriptions of a world that is delicious in its specificity, and characters so raw I wanted to wrap them in my arms. I kept trying not to blink so as to take the book in all at once, like a work of visual art -- the scale pushes beyond that capacity, but still, the more I read in one sitting the better. The reviews her [...]

    13. There is hope for new literary commercial fiction. This book links poetry to fiction -- the language is so sure and brilliant, the music so finely calibrated, that there's a spell cast -- my spine goes tingly. The book cover is a bit of a head-scratcher -- this is NOT a romance novel; it is, rather, in the tradition of Joyce, Beckett, Woolf.

    14. A really amazing story about a young woman who has grown up with parents who are too absorbed to care for her, about her, and eventually no longer literally there for her. Reading this was painful, but incredible -- psychologically riveting.

    15. I gave up on this slow going book. It's dream like quality was too repetitive. The opening was captivating but it was down hill by page 50 and by age 100 I just could not take it any more. This was a pre-published edition I was reading for my library so I am glad I did not pay for this book.

    16. picked this up book up for a challenge. I really was not optimistic going in because historical fiction is not genre I generally enjoy.I had read a few reviews before I started the book and I heard that it is a slow start so I really wanted to give it a chance but unfortunately I still could not really get into it.I probably wouldn't recommend this book to anybody else because I probably won't remember it long termh

    17. This book I read voraciously and rapidly, but that in no way diminished my enjoyment of it.The Glass Oceantells the tale of Carlotta Dell'oro, a young woman, who narrates in retrospect her parents' relationship, their family life, and separation.This book's singular, period-appropriate style and format made the entire story nostalgic and dreamlike. Lori Baker, author, creates a moving storyline with repeated significant phrases and especially brilliant imagery, drawing readers into the seaside c [...]

    18. This quiet story is as elegant as the glass Carlotta's father makes. A book full of dusty curiosities and specimens, it's about what it means to long for a missing parent, to try to understand one's parents, and how a lack of such understanding can impact the next generation. Read this one to savor the language.

    19. The cover of this book is interesting. I can't wait to get this book! I won this bookand I am looking forward to reading it. Yea!

    20. Beautifully written book; much imagery and colorful prose. Sad story of how people can ignore the ones they love in everyday life and yet love them in their hearts. Tragic!

    21. One of the best books I've read this year. Lot of sadness here, but also many wonders. Took me quite a few hours to read, but I was unable to put it down. And then I cried a bit

    22. I absolutely loved this book. Written in a poetic style. I liked it much more than the people in my book discussion group.

    23. Last year, I received a copy of The Glass Ocean from Penguin Canada in exchange for an honest review. I am a bit late to write it since the book was published on August 1st 2013.This was a very hard read slow and painfully repetitive. The entire story can be contained in about 20 pages, but was stretched to breaking point by constant repetitions. The repetitive writing style dragged the story and besought me to quit reading that book over and over. I persisted because of my stubbornness and fina [...]

    24. A dysfunctional victorian family - for me to love a book I have to really connect with a character and that didn't happen for me. The narrator is an orphaned girl that tells the story of her parents' lives even before she was born. All of the characters have an emptiness about them and they all deal with their disappointments in sad destructive ways. The writing is beautifully descriptive and I guess that is what seems a bit disjointed and unsettling while reading the book. The language of the s [...]

    25. I didn't care for this story. There wasn't much in the way of character development and little or no dialogue. I was constantly wondering why? Why did the father leave his family? Why was he hunting for his sister? I found reading it rather dull. The main character had little presence in the book except as a narrator of things prior to her birth. Even after she becomes part of the cast of characters there's little to tell who she is. Continuity is haphazard at bestsible at worst.It left me as if [...]

    26. I don't even know if I can provide a review for this book as I didn't finish it. What I did read (I gave up around page 105) was confusing. I have no idea who Carlotta is or why she was telling this story as neither was interesting enough to hold my interest. Admittedly, this wasn't my type of book to begin with and I tried to like it but it felt like something I would be forced to read in high school. Or an Oprah's pick.I won this book through First Reads.

    27. I cannot believe how good this book was. I was so amazed by the music of the sentences, and by the depth of emotions that built up. What was up with the book cover? This book is more in line with the blurbs from Banville and Pynchon than with the romance riff of the design. Indeed, it seems almost more an anti-romance. Heartbreaking, beautiful

    28. ***I WON THIS BOOK IN A GIVEAWAY****I did something I never doI gave up on this book. I found it very slow and boring, and I just couldn't get into it.Although, it would seem I am not the only one, so that makes me feel a bit better.

    29. Beautifully written with many descriptive, poetic passages. Unusual in its consistency of first person voice and continuous narrative. Appealing to me for its watery subject matter - seas, underwater creatures,the river, even the fluidity of glass.

    30. I didn't read this. I got lost at sea with this overly wordy novel. The plot is hidden in too much poetic fluff. I enjoy description but the authors word choice and usage weighs down what there could be of a story, unfortunately I could not connect with the characters.

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