The American Lady by Petra Durst-Benning is the second book in The Glassblowers Trilogy. Ruth Steinmann has immigrated to America with Steven Miles and her daughter, Wanda. After two years Ruth was able to get a divorce from her husband Thomas. It is now seventeen years later. Wanda is a young lady who is a very independent thinker. Despite the fact that her family is wealthy, Wanda wants to work a job. Wanda has just gotten a job a Dittmer’s Deli. Unfortunately, things do not go well and Wanda is fired from another job. Wanda’s problem is that she does not like to follow orders or rules.
Johanna married Peter Maienbaum and has two children (twins), Anna and Johannes. Marie Steinmann has been blowing glass for nineteen years and she is now only one among many women blowing glass. Marie, though, feels like she is in a rut. Johanna suggests that she take a trip to America to see Ruth, Steven, and Wanda. Marie agrees to the trip and sets sail for New York. Ruth is very excited to see Marie. Ruth plans parties and shopping trips for her sister. Marie goes along with the shopping and parties for a while, but then Wanda introduces Marie to her dance teacher, Pandora. Pandora and Marie hit it off. Pandora then introduces Marie to Greenwich Village and its many artists. Marie gets her inspiration back and is out all the time with her new friends. Marie then meets Franco de Lucca. Franco works for his father making and exporting wine (as well as sneaking people into the country). Franco and Marie fall in love. Marie forgets about her obligations to the family and the business.
While Marie was in New York she let it slip to Wanda about her biological father, Thomas. Wanda had never been told about him. Wanda then sets out to learn everything she can about Germany and her family. Wanda is determined to go to Lauscha and when the family is short on help, she volunteers to go. Wanda arrives in Lauscha and immediately becomes sick (with bronchitis). Eventually, Wanda recovers and meets her biological father (and the rest of the family). While Steinmann-Maienbaum Workshop has been doing well, Thomas Heimer (and family) has not. Wanda wants to find a way to help their business. While finding new ideas Wanda meets Richard Stamme. Richard is trying to mix German glass making with Venetian glass techniques. Wanda falls in love with Richard and you know her mother is going to be upset.
Franco is called back home to Genoa and the family business. Marie goes with him. Marie is excited to see Franco’s home and try some new glass ideas. Marie finds herself pregnant and living in a foreign country. Franco’s parents have not welcomed her and Franco is always working. Then Marie finds out something horrible and her life will never be the same again.
I liked The American Lady, but did not love it. I loved The Glassblowers (the first book) and was really looking forward to The American Lady. The first part of the book focuses on Wanda and Marie. Marie is so different in this book. She becomes flighty and forgets about her family. Wanda is an unusual woman for her time. But I found her to be a contradiction. I give The AmericanLady 4 out of 5 stars. I have tried to give you an overview of the book without giving away any spoilers or too much information.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
The American Lady was released today and is available on Kindle Unlimited (if you are a member or want to take advantage of the 30 day free trial). The third book, The Paradise of Glass will be out on September 22, 2015 (according to Amazon). It will also be available on Kindle Unlimited. I am curious to see how the trilogy ends.
Thank you for visiting and reading my review. I hope you are having a wonderful week! I am currently reading Senseless Acts of Beauty by Lisa Verge Higgins. I will let you know how I like it. Have a great evening and Happy Reading.