Review: "Fragile Dreams" by Viviane Brentanos

Review by Judy Nickles

British expatriate Ellie, married to wealthy Greek tourist magnate Pavros Rouva, seemingly has everything. But her life in a luxurious villa on the Ionian Sea has palled in the face of her husband’s notorious dalliances with his mistress Eleni and a bout with breast cancer and chemo that has left her physically and emotionally scarred.

Then she meets Michael, one of her husband’s underpaid employees who has come to earn a little extra money by refurbishing the villa’s rose garden. Almost ten years younger than Ellie—and already involved with Stephanie, daughter of an American film VIP—he has demons of his own, and he’s not dealing with them much better than Ellie is dealing with hers.

Their attraction is mutual and immediate. Their affair, though brief, reawakens passion that Ellie thought had fled. Inevitably, Pavros becomes aware that one of his ‘possessions’ is at risk of slipping through his fingers, and he strikes without mercy. A plane at the bottom of the Atlantic, a doctor’s verdict, and a space of five years both destroy and revive Ellie in ways she never imagined.

Fragile Dreams is easily a one-sitting read. The well-drawn characters are easy to alternately like and dislike and thus totally believable as they fight their way through an intricate web of love and deceit.

While a bit heavy on the use of descriptive metaphors and similes, and despite a somewhat slow start, this book belongs on the packing list for your next vacation, especially if you’ll be sunning yourself on a Greek beach!