Friday, 12 July 2013

Book Review: A Veil of Glass and Rain by Petra F. Bagnardi

A Veil of Glass and Rain
Author: Petra F. Bagnardi
Publish Date: 20 April 2013

Brina and Eagan meet for the first time when she's nine and he's fourteen. They like each other from the very beginning, although their bond isn't immediate, but it grows over the years. What links them is the fact that their parents are photographers and are extremely devoted to their work and to each other; so much so that both Brina and Eagan have to learn how to take care of themselves from a very young age. Despite their differences, age, gender, nationality, Brina is Italian and Eagan is American, they find comfort in their growing friendship. 

Then Brina becomes a teenager, and her feelings for her friend start changing and deepening. New desires stir within her. As soon as Brina realizes how those feelings complicate her friendship with Eagan, she runs away from him.

A few years later, Brina is twenty and Eagan is twenty-five, they find one another once again. Brina is studying cinema in Rome and she's also trying to become a musician. Eagan begins to work as an architect in the same city. Eagan wants to be a part of Brina's life anew. Brina, however, is still in love with him; she finds it difficult to act merely as a friend and she keeps pulling away.

Set in the beautiful Rome, this is a sensual and romantic story of friendship and love.

My Review

I wanted to like this book a lot more, but it just didn't work for me. I hate writing negative reviews, but I have to be honest.

Brina and Eagan have been best friends for years, relating over their fairly absent parents. They become each others rocks, but they get older and Brina realises that her feelings towards Eagan have developed into more than friendship. Brina runs away, unable to bear changing the friendship they had.
Years later, Brina is living in Rome and studying cinema, when Eagan moves to Rome to work as an architect. They're reunited, and it's time to confront their feelings for each other as they work out how to be a part of each other's lives again.

I think my biggest problem for me was Brina. If I don't like a main character, or can't relate to them at all, then I struggle to like the book, and that's partly what has happened with A Veil of Glass and Rain. I found Brina to be far too fragile and emotionally unstable. The word I used when I made notes was, draining. Towards the end of the book, she does take some control of her life but even then I found her a bit depressing. Plus, I couldn't fathom her attitude towards food. Honestly, I couldn't see what Eagan saw in her.
Eagan is more likable, and is a charming and open man- the total opposite of Brina. So he balances her darker personality somewhat, I liked that he brought her out of her shell. 
I also liked some of the secondary characters, particularly Brina's university friends, who are rather devoted to opening her up.

I found that the story was a bit disjointed, it jumped between different time periods quite often. Whilst I enjoyed the flashbacks and seeing their earlier friendship, it was a little disorientating. 
The sexual tension between Eagan and Brina was sizzling, and the sex scenes were totally steamy. But once they started having sex, their romantic relationship moved incredibly quickly, and they became unhealthily dependent on each other. There was a chunk of the book where they had sex a lot, and there was little development- to be honest, it got a bit repetitive.

Generally, I enjoyed the author's writing style, it was very descriptive and emotive. I was drawn to the idea of the story and enjoy a darker romance. Unfortunately, this wasn't my cup of tea, but everyone enjoys different things so I wouldn't let this review discourage you from trying it for yourself!

*I received a review copy from the author, for an honest review. Thank you!


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