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10 thoughts on “The Glass Ocean

  1. Lolly K Dandeneau Lolly K Dandeneau says:

    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 th 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 this, Carlotta Dell oro is my name I am eighteen years old mother I have none father either It doesn t continue in this vein, and at times the writing is repetitive but I still enjoyed it One must remember it is a different time period Once I got to the meat of the story, everything changed and I started to care about Carlotta This is a strange book that reads with a dreamlike quality, it isn t focused so much on how she is an orphan and thank God for that, it isa disembowelment of her parents marriage The problem is they should not have met at all, at sea or anywhere else,neither on a street nor in a room,in a field, on a beach, he and she, Leo and Clotilde, two opposing elements that should have repelled, resisted that did repel, resist, for a time that still resist me, at any rate The two of them, unmeant of emphatically disparate stuff Until brought together A collision, I the result And then once again the molecules fly apart, will not hold That beautifully explained her parents tragic fate together.The saddest part of the story is how two parents can be so lost, damaged by fate or their choices, that they fail to remember their child is a person, not a thing as Clotilde calls her This sentence alone packs a punch, As for me, I m growing up in the gap between their two secret, separate worlds at the juncture of their mutually averted eyesOf her selfish, vain and yet deeply sad mother, She inhabits insubstantiality, makes ghosts of us all This is the effect of my mother s presence, which is really an absence Well written are the moments of her mother s unwanted pregnancy, where our narrator clings tenaciously to her cold mother s reluctant womb The only way to get rid of me will be to get rid of herself And my mother is much too conceited for that A world without Clotilde is an inconceivable world About her father, absorbed in his glass making, blind to her mother s unhappiness Because I m bearing down on his life too Not just hers Bearing down like a steam engine And I m going to arrive, whether he opens his eyes or not And yes, dear reader, Leo will irritate you with his withdrawal,cowardice and voluntary blindness Poor Carlotta, doomed already from the womb I found myself absolutely hating her mother Clotilde, regardless of the handy excuse that she was so broken by the loss of her own father I didn t feel much sympathy for her And Carlotta s father Leo was much like a sea creature himself, hiding in his shell when really he should have stood up for himself, or at least showed his true feelings But, as she tells us, Leo is a man that hates looking at his own failures and secrets, even as they haunt him And Thomas the poison that enters their already fractured lives, he just made me think of some crypt keeper and really, maybe Clotilde did deserve what she got out of him A man that seems dusty and rotten to the core, though I can t pin down why I began to feel like I knew them, the sort of characters you would cross the street to avoid Both parents lost to the sea in one way or another, parents who were never really concrete for Carlotta, I half wished for an ending where she just said Well to hell with you both and gave them nary a thought I can see from my review I am still caught in the sticky substance of Baker s writing It is different, and it takes a bit of time for the reader to adjust to the flow Well worth my time Baker did a beautiful job exposing each character, to the bone of their ugliness too This strange novel is staying with me for a while It has Victorian feel, and I think it would translate well into a film Read it


  2. Annie Annie says:

    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 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 endeavour in the 1840s ploughing the waves in exotic climes, then the return to cold and claustrophobic Victorian Whitby, with its narrow, twisting steepnesses and the cold, dark torrent flowing beneath the Birdcage Birdcage prison sanctuary So much that one could unpick and write about in this novel I was aware that I didn t really like either of the two main characters, Leo or Clotilde But this did not seem to impede my enthusiasm for the book Leo s obsession with Clotilde painted shades of Wuthering Heights for me, in the doomed obsession of Heathcliff with Cathy.Does the bold and arresting decision to go with Carlotta as first person narrator entirely work She is not present cannot be, as she is not yet born for most of the events described She haunts the book, like a ghost from the future Very effective, but, on first reading at least, I m not sure it is 100% consistent But it might be Does anyone have any thoughts I d love to hear them.Life is laid bare here, viewed as under a microscope The internal workings of the human heart are exposed, examined and exhibited like specimens in a bell jar or butterflies on a pin board


  3. Valentina Valentina says:

    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 worn p 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 worn piece of lace that is lightly yellowing, intricate and pungent The characters, especially Clotilde, are fascinating The author manages to bring them to life in such a way that they are never overwhelmed by the atmosphere or the details This is not easy to achieve in such an elaborate novel as this one is Characters usually fall by the wayside when details are so strong and the Gothic atmosphere is so rich, so I was so glad to find that it was not the case in this one If you love literary fiction, historical fiction, or both, and enjoy gorgeous writing, then I highly recommend this one


  4. Erica Erica says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here 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 Evento the point is the wonder of the world she describe 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 Evento the point is the wonder of the world she describes the sea voyage, glassmaking, the world of Victorian naturalists and then the magical world that glimmers just beyond This book requires attentive reading A friend of mine who gave me the book told me that she read it twice and she gotout of the book the second time through I read it twice as well, and figure I ll go back for a third reading There s so much layered into this book, doublings of various sorts, the book works like a really complex piece of music, with themes and motifs building off one another, little clues dropped in in one context that come to mean so muchlater Leo s secret project, alluded to at various points, being the making of a glass Clotilde stopping time in its track, stopping life and love in its tracks, is something I had not guessed at, but which seemed so right, and it gave this book a powerful sense of emotional conclusion or near conclusion Carlotta s seeing that glass finger in the last chapter a remnant of that project she saw in Leo s studio shed, for only a moment, makes her search for her parents all themeaningful, and disturbingly beautiful This is not an easy book, or a quick read This is truly a book of serious literature, a rare bird, but a gorgeous one


  5. Stabbing Stabbing says:

    I will not star this book because I quit at page 54 Received it in a goodreads 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 considere I will not star this book because I quit at page 54 Received it in a goodreads 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 conventionally good sentence flow by waffling between sentences that are really, really long Some over 100 words Just because you can, doesn t mean you should , and others that are short and choppy A book with this many sentences started with the word and or but should come with a warning Here is a small Vocabulary Sample taken from those 54 pages that I read occludedmandiblesmal de merambergrisobsequiousI thought the book was really boring and I didn t like it That being said I m sure this book will find it s audience but that audience isn t me


  6. Ruth Ruth says:

    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 science to 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 science to life made this book a particular favorite This is one of those rare books where I was emotionally spent when I finished it was a truly beautiful and cathartic experience


  7. Maddison Maddison says:

    I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads 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 do I received a copy of this book through a Goodreads 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 again, but was nonetheless essential to the telling of the story.The characters are certainly odd in a very good way I grew to despise Clotilde her characterization is fantastic in that it made it very easy to hate her Leo, again, is characterized well, along with Thomas Argument and William Cloverdale Harry Owen is, at times, difficult to get a strong sense of, as well as Carlotta, the narrator However, each character is interesting each character is obviously a flawed being in their constant obsessions and longings, which make them unique literary specimens.The language is beautiful and poetic, which I appreciated, but I could see how it would make other readers impatient Baker s novel is literary in the sense that the description of simple scenes is detailed and the crafting of language is artistic rather than solely entertaining.I would recommend this book, but be cautioned that not everything in the novel makes perfect sense I had to get over my desire for things to make sense in order to really enjoy the novel Once I expected that some things wouldn t be logical, I tended to understand a little better, which made it a different, interesting read


  8. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    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 aplot driven novel, this style might be discomfiting It s clear that an enormous amount of research went into the 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 aplot driven novel, this style might be discomfiting It s clear that an enormous amount of research went into the writing Victorian science and craftwork, travel narratives, and details of attire and furnishing all seem precisely depicted, but Baker manages this without creating a phony or strained diction and I say this as an avid reader of Victorian novels She has the ability to see and hear a distant world, despite its hardships, as beautiful, spooky, and funny as sticky door is disinclined.The Glass Ocean is a novel that is best read slowly One should savor the texture of the novel s language as intrinsic to its meaning, its tonal shifts and through that means the very human characters make their way into the reader s sensibility and linger in mind


  9. janet janet says:

    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. Lissa Lissa says:

    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 Goodreads Giveaway.


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The Glass Ocean A story of love, art, and obsession in Victorian England from debut novelist Lori Baker The 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 inaboard 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 ❮Reading❯ ➸ Gender in Psychoanalytic Space Author Muriel Dimen – Kleankitchen.co.uk art [Download] ➽ Insight and Interpretation ➺ Roy Schafer – Kleankitchen.co.uk and obsession in Victorian England from debut novelist Lori Baker The Glass Ocean is a story of becoming Flamehaired [EPUB] ✵ Good People in an Evil Time Author Svetlana Broz – Kleankitchen.co.uk six foot two in stocking feet [Read] ➵ On a Day Like This ➼ Peter Stamm – Kleankitchen.co.uk newly orphaned Carlotta Dell oro recounts the lives of her parents solitary glassmaker Leopoldo Dell oro and beautiful ⚦ [PDF] ✎ Heart to Start By Derek Handley ✶ – Kleankitchen.co.uk unreachable Clotilde Girard and discovers in their loves and losses [PDF / Epub] ☉ Light without Fire By Scott Korb – Kleankitchen.co.uk their omissions and obsessions [Epub] ❧ Secrecy ➛ Rupert Thomson – Kleankitchen.co.uk the circumstances of her abandonment and the weight of her inheritance With a master artisan s patience and exquisite craft [BOOKS] ✸ The Silence and the Roar ⚦ Nihad Sirees – Kleankitchen.co.uk debut novelist Lori Baker has created a gemlike Victorian world ❃ Hard Country kindle Epub ❧ Author Robin Robilliard – Kleankitchen.co.uk a place where mistakes of the past reappear in the future ❰Reading❯ ➶ The Whale Rider Author Witi Ihimaera – Kleankitchen.co.uk art can destroy [PDF / Epub] ★ The Impossible David Lynch By Todd McGowan – Kleankitchen.co.uk and family is not to be trusted Leopoldo and Clotilde meet inaboard the Narcissus [PDF / Epub] ☉ The Colour Encyclopedia Of Incredible Aeroplanes Author Philip J. Jarrett – Kleankitchen.co.uk on an expedition led by Clotilde s magnanimous [Read] ➲ Tooth Sleuth, Mystery of the Missing Tooth (Shirley Lock Mysteries ➮ Mia Woolfe – Kleankitchen.co.uk adventuring father It s Leopoldo s task to document the animals of the high sea ❄ [KINDLE] ✽ Juno Of Taris By Fleur Beale ➝ – Kleankitchen.co.uk and by his skilled hand the drawings become the only record of these secretive creatures existence But what possesses his mind is golden Clotilde ❮PDF / Epub❯ ★ The Faithful Scribe Author Shahan Mufti – Kleankitchen.co.uk and soon his papers fill with images of her ➿ Off the Tourist Trail Free ➶ Author DK Publishing – Kleankitchen.co.uk beginning a devotion that will prove inescapable Clotilde meanwhile sees only her dear papa ❮Download❯ ➾ One Ball of Yarn ➼ Author DK Publishing – Kleankitchen.co.uk but when he goes missing she is pushed to Leopoldo ❰Reading❯ ➽ Optical Illusions Author DK Publishing – Kleankitchen.co.uk returning with him to the craggy English shores of Whitby [Reading] ➺ One Million Things By DK Publishing – Kleankitchen.co.uk the place to which Leopoldo vowed he would never return There they form an uneasy coexistence [Epub] ➟ Instruments of Darkness (Crowther and Westerman By Imogen Robertson – Kleankitchen.co.uk lost to each other Clotilde asks only for her papa [Download] ➵ The Initiation of Pb500 (Pb500, By Kyle Stone – Kleankitchen.co.uk and Leopoldo turns to town [Read] ➫ Bewitched By Jayde Scott – Kleankitchen.co.uk where he finds himself in the employ of a local glassblower There [Download] ➽ Mark of the Lion ➺ Kenneth Sandford – Kleankitchen.co.uk he begins to conceive his newest project transforming his sketches into glass [KINDLE] ✾ DK Pocket Eyewitness Insects By DK Publishing – Kleankitchen.co.uk blowing life and light into the darkest creatures But in finding his art he surrenders Clotilde [PDF / Epub] ☉ Moon Landings By DK Publishing – Kleankitchen.co.uk 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 ➾ The Invisible Soldier Free ➵ Author Mary P. Motley – Kleankitchen.co.uk though perhaps it is written already In hypnotic ➥ [Epub] ➟ Hard Cases By Roger Hurn ➯ – Kleankitchen.co.uk 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


About the Author: 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.