Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Second Sonata by Nathan Patrick Hardt

Nicholas Andrew Bradley started life on a high note. Receiving a scholarship to college he kept his head down and in the studies secure in the fact that he would excel. However, somewhere life changed and Nicholas was not able to keep up his end of the bargain. It began with Alexia in college, and his inability of letting her understand his real feelings. After they went their separate ways, the bottle became his escape. Moreover, with this escape, as things tend to do, the scholarship became secondary and before too long due to attendance and scoring issues, it was rescinded. Nicholas let his dreams fade as he began a new life, one without the same expectations.

Meeting and marrying Sidney, Nicholas’s life took on a completely new meaning when she became pregnant and he became a father. His son Ashton was everything Nic could ever ask for. Bright and funny, endearing and loving, Nic was back on track for his life. But alcohol is a jealous mistress, and would not let Nicholas go. Continuing to ignore those who loved him and pushing them away, he is at first bewildered and angered, when Sidney too deserts him. Nic is committed to staying in touch and being a part of Ashton’s life, and plans on being in contact with him frequently. As life would have it, things work out that way for a while. Again the alcohol wins the battle when it reminds Nic how terrible his life is, he has no one, no friends or family left to care.

Late one evening, on a bender, and drunk as a skunk he makes a run to his most recent favorite watering hole. It is soon to close but he believes he can make it there, he knows the back roads where speeding is sometimes ignored. Driving while he is so intoxicated does not faze him, and most things are a blur. With minutes to spare just as he reaches the street where the bar is located, he sees the people lurching across the street in front of him. Unable to stop in time he twists the wheel of his car and runs it into a telephone pole, at an excessive speed.

Coming to in the darkness, he does not understand where he is, he is choking on noxious fumes, and he feels trapped. He hears a voice in his head telling him to move, it is insistent and pushy. Nicholas realizes he is trapped in the car and pulls himself out of the wreckage. Looking back, he sees no way that he should be alive; the car is totaled beyond recognition. He determines at that time to change his life.

Something is happening, and Nic is amazed. It is easier than he anticipated making his life change. He has friends he did not quite remember from his alcohol haze, and the alcohol has lost its power over him. Back in contact with his son, he finds that Sidney is no longer with her husband, and will be moving back with Ashton. Then unexpectedly, Alexia, his love from college calls him, she will be in town on a visit and would like to see him. Life for Nicholas has become his dream. But the voice from the accident comes back. What is happening? Nicolas meets a man on his property, one who seems slightly familiar, and Nic invites him into his home. Brad is someone who seems to know things, things about Nic and his life. While Nicholas is living his dream, he is beginning to believe it is a dream, that life may not be what he believes. Something beyond his control seems to be happening. Can he find the answers before it destroys his new life?

This work is an interesting and thoughtful look at how we tend to color the things that happen to us, and make them fit into compartments. It is an opening up of a point of view and an overcoming of bleakness, which is unexpected. The story is taut and full of well-meaning and often great tension. Who is Brad and where does he fit in with the theme. There is spirituality and a deep chasm of understanding of the possibilities of how life would or could change if we allowed it. When all seems lost, can we be given the opportunity to make things right for those who truly care about us before it is too late?

I found this book to be deep and murky in places and yet filled with light and hope as we traversed the road the Nicholas traveled. It was mesmerizing and full of new life as Nic chose to make his changes. It was a bit wordy and could have been tightened up a bit more towards the ending but the scope of the story was quite amazing. If you enjoy a different look at how life is, or would just like to see how there is a bit of spirituality in all of us you will enjoy the premise of this book. It is enlightening and makes you think.

Rating 4/5
The Second Sonata

This book was received as a free copy from the Author. All opinions are my own based off my reading and understanding of the material.

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