November 10, 2012

Audiobook: Clara and Mr. Tiffany

by Susan Vreeland
Read by Kimberly Farr
ages: adult
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Clara Driscoll is the head of the women's department in the stained glass "factory" of Louis Comfort Tiffany. It's the late 19th-century, and she adores her job, but there's one caveat: Tiffany doesn't allow married women to work for him. So, every time marriage looms, she loses girls. She, herself, at the start of the book, is coming back after her older husband died. The women's department is an important one; they handle the artistic windows -- and, eventually, lamps -- for Tiffany, because Tiffany believes that women are more sensitive to color and choose it better than the men do.

 But, Clara has to deal with the changing times, with the turn of the century, with the demands of her heart, and eventually, with Tiffany's unwillingness to appreciate her for both her art and herself.

I wanted to like this one, and sometimes I did. The narrator was good -- nothing spectacular, but not annoying, either.  I enjoyed the whole stained glass part; I took a class a few years back, and that gave me enough knowledge to get a grasp on the artistic process that Vreeland was describing. And she described it well: I went, after, and looked up pictures of the windows and lamps she was describing, and they were fairly close to what I had pictured in my mind.

But honestly: it went on too long. Too much time, too few conflicts, too much describing, and too little happening. It's not that it wasn't enjoyable, it was just so slow. And I have other things I need to do with my time.


Kailana said...

I have read a couple books by Vreeland that I liked, but it has been a while. I will probably read this at some point...

Abby said...

YES. I completely agree with you on this. "I wanted to like this one, and sometimes I did." <-- exactly what I thought about it, too. I ended up giving up before it was finished because it was just going on way too long and I realized I just didn't care enough to finish it!

Melissa said...

Ha, Abby! I'm glad I'm not the only one!