top of page

The Glassmaker

By Tracy Chevalier




THE GLASSMAKER tells the story of Orsolo Rosso, the eldest daughter in a family of male glassblowers on the island of Murano off the Venetian coast. When her father dies suddenly, Orsolo secretly starts making glass beads to support her family. The story follows Orsolo and her family through centuries of triumph, transformation, love, and loss.


Tracy Chevalier, the author, creatively accelerates the THE GLASSMAKER timeline through the centuries while the characters age at a much slower pace. The story begins in 1486 during the Renaissance, and Orsolo is only nine years old. By Chapter Two, 80 years have passed, but Orsolo is only eighteen. This acceleration of time allows us to see Orsolo and her family spanning the years from the Renaissance to 2019, with Orsolo being only 65 years old. It was fascinating to witness the family adapt and transform through the ages.

I found the tale mesmerizing and difficult to put down. It was a captivating portrait of a woman with strength and perseverance. Chevalier's writing is masterful.

While Orsolo is the central character, her mother and brothers play key roles, as does the glass dealer in Venice and a caring woman from a competing family in Murano who helped Orsolo get her start in bead-making. Each character is unique and pivotal to Orsolo’s life.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Publisher    Penguin Group Viking

Published   June 18, 2024

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page