WIP of the Week: 4/16/12

April 17, 2012

An Italian Winter by Raum
Review by Camilla10

Rating: M
Genre: Drama/Romance
Characters: Edward & Bella

Summary: His rebellion began for a reason; it still holds true and brought him to Italy. His life's been predicated on revenge for decades; forgiveness seems impossible. When Edward meets Bella, only a winter separates him from his last prey & his own destruction.

I have had the pleasure to pre read this fic and at the beginning I could not believe that The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, a comedy of mores, could be the inspiration for a very dramatic supernatural plot. But Raum made it happen and the story is gripping. This Edward did not have a happy and secure childhood, safe in Chicago with loving parents until the influenza struck. Like Earnest, Edward was abandoned by a mother who evidently could not afford to keep him.

Passed from an orphanage to the next one, unloved and unwanted, Edward ended up in the streets, victimized by bullies, until he got the influenza and was taken to a hospital to die. In his delirium he called a blond, angelic doctor “father”, and that made Carlisle do the unthinkable.

So for the newborn the transformation was not a tragedy, he loved and trusted his sire and did his best to adhere to his way of life. He was happy with his adoptive mother and siblings and never touched a drop of human blood until the fateful night when he had reason to think that Carlisle had betrayed him. I won’t tell you what Carlisle did, but it was a serious mistake on his part, one that enraged Edward and drove him away from the family.

"Can't you trust me more and believe that I only wanted to protect you?" 

"How? By taking away my choices?" I provoked. 

"I am here to help you to move on," he offered. "We are all here for you." 

"Have you told them?" I couldn't imagine what I would do if Esme and the others had known what Carlisle had discovered, and they'd kept it from me. 

"No," he murmured. "I've been the only one dealing with the truth. I'd do anything to spare you from suffering more than you have already." 

He was quiet but allowed me to read his thoughts. He had hoped that I would have found my mate, and that her love would have healed me, even if my family's acceptance wasn't enough. He had even hoped my human memories would fade after so many decades. Then the truth wouldn't hurt me as much. But his compassion only made my rage greater. 

"Damn you and your principles! My life with your coven ends tonight." 

Now on his own, the existence of Edward is a long descent into Hell. His mindreading helps him to get money both in gaming houses and in the stock exchange, but the time comes when he will taste his first human. When we meet him in the story he is in Italy where he plans to find his by-the-Volturi-death, as he loathes what he has become, but, first, he will have his perfect revenge over Carlisle. He will kill his last human victim, chosen for a reason.

However, destiny intervenes in the form of a pretty human girl, his neighbor in the Tuscan town he is temporarily living in. This Bella, a young teacher, has also secrets of her own, but the chemistry between the two is immediate and unavoidable. Will it be enough to stop Edward from the course he has chosen? Don’t take it for granted, the hurt is too deep, as shown by this last telephone call between Edward and Alice.

"Whatever you've done, you know that Carlisle would forgive you," she tried again. 

The phone cracked in my fist but didn't break. "What are you saying?" I growled. "He would forgive me? What does he have to forgive?" 

Nothing had changed, nothing ever would. For all of them, Carlisle would always be the perfect father, the one who knew best – the guide who, in his great magnanimity, was ready to welcome back the black sheep. He had betrayed my trust and kept the truth from me, but still, I was the one who needed to be forgiven. Alice didn't relent, desperate to find a way to bring me back. 

"You aren't the first of us who's had a moment of weakness. Emmett slipped, too..." 

"Slips?" I yelled. "Who do you think you're talking to? I've killed, Alice, and I'll do it again. After all these years, can you admit that they were my choices and not just instances of distraction?" 

"Why?" She asked, anguished. "Carlisle has always refused to tell us what happened between you and him, and you certainly didn't share anything with us." 

"I can't say I don't appreciate that he didn't spill my secrets to you," I admitted. "But maybe he did so only because he didn't want you to think less of him. He must remain the perfect one, right? The infallible vampire, the good doctor, the loving father. Right?" I mocked. 

The story runs in parallel between the present and flash backs of the past – so that the readers can learn what brought Edward to these straits.

I hope you will read An Italian Winter and love it as I do. It is still a WIP, but the draft is complete and Raum is a fast and dependable updater.

Reviewers get a little virtual gift, and there is a literary suggestion, linked to the story, at the end of each chapter. Happy reading!


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