Title: Days Made of Glass by Laura Drake
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 273 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by the Author
Shared blood defines a family, but spilled blood can too.
Harlie Cooper raised her sister, Angel, even before their mother died. When their guardian is killed in a fire, rather than be separated by Social Services, they run. Life in off the grid in L.A. isn’t easy, but worse, there’s something wrong with Angel.
Harlie walks in to find their apartment scattered with shattered and glass and Angel, a bloody rag doll in a corner. The doctor orders institutionalization in a state facility. Harlie’s not leaving her sister in that human warehouse. But something better takes money. Lots of it.
When a rep from the Pro Bull Riding Circuit suggests she train as a bullfighter, rescuing downed cowboys from their rampaging charges, she can’t let the fact that she’d be the first woman to attempt this stop her. Angel is depending on her.
It’s not just the danger and taking on a man’s career that challenges Harlie. She must learn to trust—her partner and herself, and learn to let go of what’s not hers to save.
A story of family and friendship, trust and truth.
Days Made of Glass by Laura Drake is an incredibly moving novel about the strong bond between two sisters who do not have anyone to count on except each other. It is also an emotional story about learning to trust even when past experiences make it virtually impossible to count on anyone but yourself. Equally important is the realization that family is more than just blood relatives and that bonds of friendship are sometimes stronger than family ties.
Harlie Cooper and her younger sister Angel have an intimate relationship with heartache, pain and loss. Fearing they will be separated by social services after their guardian’s death, Harlie and Angel flee at the first opportunity and begin living under the radar in a suburb of L.A. Working on a ranch that doubles as a movie set, Harlie catches the eye Steve Rawlins, a marketing rep for the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) who presents her the opportunity become the organization’s first woman bullfighter. Harlie has no plans to take him up on his offer until Angel’s dark moods and deep depression mean she will need long term care in a mental health facility. Harlie knows the offer is no guarantee she will make it in the male dominated field, but she knows this opportunity is her only hope of providing Angel with the care she needs.
Harlie has no choice but to be tough and she never shies away from difficult situations. She is doing the best she can to give Angel a stable, loving home but when disaster strikes, Harlie has no one to turn to for help. Her painful past makes it impossible to trust anyone and she has a difficult time making small talk or fitting in with others. She is extremely closed off and wary of getting close to anyone and her inability to open up puts her at a disadvantage in both her personal and professional lives. Harlie is prickly, standoffish and a little frustrating, but overall, she is a likable and sympathetic character.
Harlie is very protective of Angel and since she has no to rely on except herself, she carries a heavy burden. She is extremely reluctant to consent to the doctor’s treatment recommendation and she remains hopeful that Angel’s condition will improve before she has to make a decision about her medical care. Her need to protect Angel does her sister no favors since Harlie’s first instinct is to try to fix things instead of listening to what Angel needs to say.
Harlie’s longtime habit of putting her sister’s needs before her own clouds her judgment and jeopardizes her career. It is through her job that she begins to understand the importance of trusting others but out of the rodeo arena, she finds it virtually impossible to let down her guard. She also continues to have difficulty making friends but when she needs a partner she can count as she travels from rodeo to rodeo, she convinces Steve to let someone she met during bullfighter school join her on the road. As the weeks pass, Harlie learns the value of confiding her problems, but she still holds herself at an emotional distance. Although she has made great strides in learning to trust, Harlie still remains reluctant to share her personal problems even in the face of losing her job.
Days Made of Glass by Laura Drake is an engaging novel that is full of deep emotion. The bullfighting aspect of the storyline is meticulously researched and realistically portrayed. The characters are vibrantly developed and likable despite their flaws and imperfections. A heartfelt story of healing that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys contemporary women’s fiction.