Erryn reviews The Imperfection of Swans by Brandon Witt (Republished by author, April 21, 2020, 286 pages) The audiobook was narrated by Kirt Graves, was released on March 14, 2017, and is 10 hrs and 16 mins long.
Why I read this book: This was one of my all-time fave audios.
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 38, 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.
Read Bethany’s review of the book here.
Read the interview about the book with Brandon here.
Can a book break your heart and still have a happy ending?
I have listened to 2 books recently that did exactly that. I listen to several books a week, so for me to be so profoundly affected says something about the power of the stories and the talent of the authors.
The Imperfection of Swans by Brandon Witt is one of those books. The description of 2 men opening a wedding dress store and a bakery sounded cute. Truth was, I was unprepared. But aren’t those the best books?
I don’t want to go into too much detail, but Kevin’s story and situation will move you. He has two loving lesbian mothers, a wonderful gay uncle, and a family who have embraced him and his homosexuality. It’s not enough, though. Not only does he have a dream of opening a wedding dress boutique, but it has to be the best boutique in Boston. With everything riding on his shoulders, is it any wonder he is stressed out?
Casper is the cool one. He knows he wants to open his own bakery and joining forces with Kevin is perfect. Casper is a talented baker, but add his designs to the dresses Kevin finds and it is a match made in marital bliss.
But there are a few problems. Being attracted to the business partner? Falling in love with him?
Not in the plans.
But when does anything in life ever go as planned?
Throw in a huge Italian family, a hoot of a female best friend, and a fabulous wedding salesgirl and you’re all set.
The scene in the wedding boutique? Laughed my ass off.
But there are very serious issues addressed in this book. Ones that will break your heart. And make sure you listen to the epilogue.
Yet I have no ambivalence in giving this book 10 Pots of Gold (or 11 if it were possible). I have told anyone who will listen – and a few who didn’t – that they have to read this book. Well, reading is good, but Kirt Graves ensures that listening is even better.
Because, honestly, I love a book that makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me despair, and then gives me hope.
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly influenced by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…