Title: The Glass Ocean
Author: Lori Baker
Genre: Historical fiction
Publisher: Penguin Press
Source: Giveaway copy from the publisher
First line: I write in retrospect, from the vantage of a distant shore.
Goodreads blurb: Flame-haired, six-foot-two in stocking feet, eighteen-year-old 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. Thomas Pynchon calls debut novelist Lori Baker – a storyteller with uncanny access to the Victorians, not only to the closely woven texture of their days but also to the dangerous nocturnal fires being attended to in their hearts.
Carlotta’s story begins in 1841, when Leo and Clotilde meet aboard the Narcissus, on an expedition led by Clotilde’s magnanimous, adventuring father. Leo is commissioned to draw the creatures of the deep sea, but is bewitched instead by golden Clotilde, beginning a devotion that will prove inescapable. Clotilde meanwhile sees only her dear papa, but when he goes missing she is pushed to Leo, returning with him to the craggy English shores of Whitby, the place to which Leo vowed he would never return.
There they form an uneasy coexistence, lost to one another. The events of the Narcissus haunt them, leaving Clotilde grieving for her father, while Leo becomes possessed by the work of transforming his sea sketches into glass. But in finding his art he surrenders Clotilde, and the distance between the two is only magnified 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 into motion the Dell’oros’ inevitable disintegration.
Thanks to the wonderful people at Penguin Press, I have one copy of The Glass Ocean to give away. Here’s how to enter:
~ This giveaway is open to readers in the US only.
~ To enter, simply leave a comment telling me about the best work of historical fiction you’ve read lately.
~ One entry per person.
~ All entries must be received by 11:59 p.m. PST, Friday, September 20th. On the 21st, I will randomly draw a winner and contact that person by e-mail for their mailing address.