This is the story of two lost souls, Heinrich and Stefan, barely eighteen years old kid who died together since together they wanted to live; their happiness was short and it was not easy, and so the tears are for them, thinking that if life was more clement, they would have an option. But in a way Heinrich and Stefan are together now, in their dreams, and they will be also in another way at the end of this story, in the eyes of their parents, Abelard Bauer, the toy maker, and Herr Schiffer.
This is also the story of Jakob, 15 years old and in love with his best friend, and then in love with a stranger, and then in love of an imaginary prince he sees in the guise of a minstrel glass toy Herr Bauer did with the face of his own dead son. Jakob needs love and he doesn’t know where to find it in the small town where he is living, and probably he will not be able to find it.
This is the story of two men, Abelard Bauer and Herr Schiffer who need to find a way to come to term with what happened and will happen, and the only way to do that is to accept that Heinrich and Stefan were in love. This tragic love is told to the reader through small passages of Heinrich’s journal, and in the few things Stefan told to his father before his death. At the beginning I thought the two boys committed suicide, but that was not the case and for me it was an odd relief: through they are dead, but at least it was not an act they committed since there was no hope for them; they at least tried to live their love and that is the only hope they can leave to Jakob, unknown to them, but they are so dear to Jakob.
I like both Herr Bauer and Herr Schiffer’s characters, these men are in great pain but this pain is not so huge to prevent them to find the love for who is around them and still alive. Herr Bauer in particular is still able to be kind and generous, and, even if in silence and alone, he is trying to understand his son’s reasons. Not Herr Bauer or Herr Schiffer are idolatrising their sons, both of them are well aware that Heinrich and Stefan were no angel, but their faults were not to love each other. Even Herr Schiffer that is more embittered than Herr Bauer will at the end arrive to that conclusion and he will be the one that will allow to the glass minstrel to find his right companion to eternity.
I strongly recommend this novel, trust me, it’s not tragic as you can think, also since, well, all the tragedy already happened, and now it’s time for the aftermath, dealing with the pain and healing the hearts, and be ready to help who comes next.
Amazon: The Glass Minstrel
Amazon Kindle: The Glass Minstrel
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher (print): Cheyenne Publishing (September 1, 2010)
Publisher (ebook): Bristlecone Pine Press (September 6, 2010)
Cover Art by Ms. Rosek