FIVE NIGHT STAND: A Novel ~Richard J. Alley
“Do we not owe it to those gone, to those still with us, to ourselves, to live to the fullest of our capabilities? To the extent of our passion?” (location 86%)
I was excited to receive the un-proofed, uncorrected advanced copy of FIVE NIGHT STAND from TLC Book Tours for review. It was a story about music and story about change and it seemed like a refreshing change of pace from the last few reads. I was trying to get it read before I went to the hospital for a surgery, but I did not achieve that goal. FIVE NIGHT STAND went with me and I read it between therapy and healing sleep in the rehabilitation center. It was good company.
Oliver Pleasant is a renown jazz piano player. He is in New York City and going to play 5 nights at a famous jazz club as his retirement. At 85 he needs to leave NYC and move to Memphis to live with his youngest sister. Alley takes us through Pleasant’s life and all his concert tours and years of playing, how he learned and who took him under their wing. We are also invited into his married life and how his wife and children influenced his career. The five nights of playing are packed full of the fans and stories of those who come to honor and hear the musician.
Agnes is a 20 something musician who has come to NYC for some medical tests and to hear the concerts of her inspiration Oliver Pleasant. She comes from New Orleans where she plays in the clubs and is originally from Memphis. Her story is an interesting addition to the concerts and she ends up meeting Pleasant and playing his music for him, with her added touch and devotion. The two have an interesting connection and this story line adds a creative dynamic to the story’s unfolding. FIVE NIGHT STAND is genuinely motivated by the passion.
Frank a third character from Memphis pulls the story into a relationship study. He is a journalist recently unemployed who sees the Concert by Pleasant as an opportunity for writing a big story about the musician’s career and his trip home at the end of his public life. Frank is struggling with his own life and his passions and his love for his wife and hoped for child to come. The story connects the three and the passions into some fine resolutions and outcomes.
The writing made the story a fine part of my healing experience and a good read. There were moments of music in the words and the telling of these character’s lives.
Richard J. Alley is an award-winning reporter, columnist, and editor from Memphis, Tennessee, where he lives with his wife and four children.
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