DROPS OF CERULEAN traces three lives: Ilona Petrarkis Doyle, a young Greek-American girl whose marriage to charming, wealthy Patrick Doyle seems idyllic on the surface but is touched with tragedy; Dr. Cadmus Doyle, Ilona’s son, whose successful career as an English professor at Rice and deeply loving marriage to Robert McClelland cannot heal the bitter guilt that underlies and darkens his seemingly-happy life; and Delphina Cizek, a bright and perceptive young woman whose life is marred by a gripping anxiety and terrifying nightmares stemming from her previous incarnation. As their lives unfold, so their combined stories intertwine, through love, betrayal, heartbreak, and loss, to ultimate reconciliation and forgiveness.
DROPS OF CERULEAN is a heartwarming, ultimately life-affirming story of loving bonds too deep for betrayal, or even death itself, to threaten. The characters are the main focus of the story, and they are drawn in artistic, intricate, and loving detail. Even minor characters feel like real, three-dimensional people, with personalities and perspectives of their own. The three main protagonists are all individuals with individual lives, ambitions, and feelings, but similar emotional themes weave their way through all three lives, drawing the characters together and resonating over the generations. Those who know and love the city of Houston will appreciate the way the city’s history and architecture are woven through the story, until the city almost feels like a character in its own right.
The writing is lush and beautifully descriptive, frequently poetically so, which is particularly appropriate given that all three of the central characters are, or wanted to be, teachers. Occasionally the elaborate and deliberate elegance of the language goes overboard, though, and feels somewhat pretentious. This is especially evident with respect to dialogue – characters’ conversations frequently sound too stilted and formal to be believable as natural, real-life speech. This is a book more about the journey than the destination – there’s a lot of loving, detailed biography here, and the resolution at the end feels a bit anticlimactic after all the buildup leading to it.
DROPS OF CERULEAN is a touching story about love, guilt, family, and the deep and abiding drive for reconciliation and re-connection.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader