Reviewer: Amy Lignor
Title: Dancing on Glass
Author: Pamela Binnings Ewen
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Release Date: August 2011
Genre/Sub-genre: Inspirational Fiction
Year/Setting: 1970ís/New Orleans
Overall Rating: 3.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Moderate/Intense
Pamela's Website: www.pamelaewen.com
Amalise Catoir is a young woman living in New Orleans, going to college, studying to be a lawyer, and working at a local bar/club down in the French Quarter. Amalise comes from a loving home. Her father is a Parish judge which is where Amalise gets her urge for her "legal destiny." Now, in the 1970ís it was still quite an odd thing for a woman to become a lawyer, but Amalise has a positive attitude and a strong will, refusing to give up on her dream.
Her best friendís name is Jude. They have literally known each other forever. Jude is a river pilot who is away from Amalise two weeks at a time at his profession, but on his two weeks off, heís usually right by her side.
One day on her way to work Amalise flees from a rainstorm into an art gallery, and finds herself riveted by the portraits on the wall. The artist, Phillip Sharp, is actually in the gallery at the time, and his first meeting with Amalise (Ama) takes on a slightly frightening, obsessive-tone. Phillip is an intense personality who tells Ama that he wants nothing more than to paint her, and add her to his female-form masterpieces. Telling her a story about himself - that he is a professor at the University - he seems to get under Amaís skin quickly, and she races from the gallery.
Soon, Phillip Sharp begins appearing in various places, until Ama - beyond intrigued - agrees to become his next subject - or, victim, as it turns out. As her friend Jude tries to tell Ama that thereís something "wrong" with this man she seems to have fallen in love with, Ama draws even closer to Phillip and ends up in a marriage that is full of intense thrills, horrific chills, and an ending that readers will not see coming.
The greatest thing about this book is the incredible "voice" the author gave to the world of New Orleans. Every sultry street; the air filled with the luscious scent of olives; the sounds of the foghorns; and the small Creole cottages that line the streets, with secreted courtyards that hide many things in the shade of their trees, are truly fascinating and make the reader feel as if they are standing beside Ama as she makes her way through the steamy "haunted" world of the French Quarter. The story begins extremely well, and the chilling words that come out of Phillip Stark remind one of Hannibal Lecter as he spoke to his beloved, Clarice. Unfortunately, about halfway through the novel, some of the thrills and chills dispersed as Phillip Stark turned more in the direction of a lying, abusive character. All in all, the book was well-done, but not the mind-bending, page turner I originally thought it would be.
Until next time,
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