Reviewed by Louisa
TITLE: The Imperfection of Swans
AUTHOR: Brandon Witt
NARRATOR: Kirt Graves
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 10h 16m
RELEASE DATE: March 14 2017
Kevin Bivanti’s dream is to open a wedding dress shop, a place with the stunning gowns to make every bride-to-be feel adored. At thirty-eight, he quits a successful advertising career to buy an old brownstone in a trendy Boston neighborhood and to make his dream a reality. When one of his cosigners drops out, fate intervenes, ushering in Casper James, who hopes to open his own bakery. With Casper willing to take the risk, their ambitions meld into a wedding dress and wedding cake boutique.
Extensive renovations to the brownstone, an affair with his ex-husband, family drama with his mothers, and the anxiety of significant life changes push Kevin to the brink of a nervous breakdown. In the midst of stress and uncertainty, Casper becomes more than a business partner, a mutual attraction that adds another layer of intensity and risk.
With their dreams on the verge of reality, Kevin and Casper must find the courage to face the stress of managing their attraction, the gamble of a new business venture, and the resurgence of Kevin’s personal demons.
The Imperfections of Swans by Brandon Witt is well written, emotion, elegant, and beautiful story about two men coming together and facing life with each other. I am not certain I can express how much I enjoyed this audio book. Kirt Gravens’ narration is so well suited to the story that I felt like I was in the book watching and experiencing what was happening.
Kevin Bivanti and Casper James don’t come together at the beginning of the book. They slowly work their way towards each other. Both jumping into their new found business. Both working on trying to lessen their attraction. But as everything else they have done, when they do become a couple it is perfect. Not because of a lack of problems, but because of how they work through them.
The Bivanti family plays a huge role in the book. And they are big and colourful and loud. They are a wonderful backdrop to Kevin who tends to be restrained and controlled. His birth mother and he are very similar and the portrayal of that relationship is truly enjoyable. But it is Noelle, his other mother, who is a joy and a sparkling presence in the book. I feel like this family has to have been model of a similar one for them to be so wonderful and yet imperfect.
The Imperfection of Swans deals with some very serious issues. The personal demons mentioned in the blurb of the book become apparent fairly quickly. Kevin has an eating disorder. The way Brandon Witt has written about this challenge is moving, but not tragic. It felt to me as the reader/listener, to be so real. How it could be for an individual who struggled with such things. The pressure, the pain, the panic when someone finds out or notices. It was so personal and tangible that I was in pain for Kevin too. And the way that Casper deals with what he notices is very honest too. No judgement or yelling, just the concern of a loved on.
The building of the bridal shop and wedding cake store to me worked as a compliment to Kevin and Casper’s relationship. They both build and grow together and even with their flaws they are beautiful. I have not enjoyed a book this much is a while. It was so moving, but not sad. So perfect for the flaws of the characters. This is a 5 hearts for me. I can’t believe I hadn’t read this book before. Wonderful.