This collection of short stories by Nicholas Bridgman delves into finding beauty and love in unexpected places. It begins by following two young classical music proteges who discover their passion for jazz and for each other at a summer music academy, and who meet fifteen years later and have to face the potential relationship they lost. In “No One There to Listen,” a family vacation to the Grand Canyon goes horribly wrong, with the family members unable to express their love for each other until it is too late. In “Grandfather’s Gift,” a man has to lose everything to discover the love behind a gift his grandfather sent him from beyond the grave. In “Lost in the Woods,” two American study abroad students in England have a harrowing time lost in a wood on their way home from Dublin, creating an unlikely bond between them. Finally, in “Sleep,” a man with schizophrenia traverses the forensic mental health system and finds that sleeping his time away serves as a strangely beautiful coping skill.
I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.
These short stories are well written quick reads that are each quite different. My least favorite was the title story, “The Passion of Jazz,” about two musicians who find love while studying music for a few weeks but they both move on and meet years later when they’re both married.
My favorite story was “No One There to Listen.” The poor kids know that their dad doesn’t listen and sadly he learns the importance of listening a little too late. I liked the other three stories as well.
If you don’t have time for a full-length novel, this could be a good alternative.
About the Author
Nicholas holds a B.A. in Rhetoric from U.C. Berkeley. He has written numerous essays for the major, as well as for scientific research for his Ecology degree. After graduating, he took up writing fiction, and he has written over 50 short stories and a novel.