Book Review: Constellations of Eve

constellations

“There were things Eve and Liam had both surrendered to achieve tranquillity, but it was easy to give up petty desires, dreams of the spotlight that wouldn’t be possible if everything else wasn’t flooded in darkness.”

Constellations of Eve, by Abbigail Nguyen Rosewood, is a story of love and the blindness this creates. In darkly measured prose it explores the thin borders that exist between love and hate. The protagonists have unsated needs, including the desire for possession of another. Certain relationships develop into obsessions that lead to deaths.

The novel is structured in four parts, each depicting the lives of Eve and Liam across differing trajectories. Secondary characters include Pari, Eve’s muse, and Blue, a much loved child. There are tragedies in both what happens and what could have been had different choices been made.

Eve is an artist trying to capture the beauty she sees in Pari. This flattering attention affects the way the latter starts to regard herself. Liam is drawn to Eve but she struggles to accept his loyalty will last. Her eye for perfection leads to a belief in the shallowness of emotional bonding, that the more beautiful people are a light that moths cannot resist.

“The curse of being cast with such a spell is that these creatures hover above their own life instead of living it. Everything beyond their own reflection is a total disappointment.”

The varying life stories capture the complex nuances of trying to weave two lives into one without losing whatever it was that each first fell in love with. Threads are shadowed by a pervasive savagery that can prove insidious. The arrival of a child can detract from attention once basked in. The needs of a friend can upset a valued equilibrium.

The writing is uncompromising but also lyrical. Scenes depicted are often graphic yet feel necessary for progression. Imagery hovers between the brutal and ethereal. As tension rises the author reveals paths this reader was not expecting, raising the tale to new levels.

A remarkable feat of imagination that is both disturbing and riveting. A story offering much to ponder beyond the final page.

My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher, Platypus Press.

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