It is always a pleasure to discover an author who has a voice and a distinct style. "The Blues, Mary " starts strong and holds its ground, being very personal yet universal.
A man tries to find his way through the streets of NYC and while he tries to define himself and mold his future, he has to go back to the beginning of his life to grasp moments in his childhood to understand the path he took and will take. The inner thinking of the character is well defined and very lyrical.
There is a real poetry in the images and scenes, a love of NYC and the urban life which hugs as much as it slaps the character. Palpable emotions are illuminating the novel, deep and also delicate, raw but yet refined as if the author carried this story for a long time, caressing hard truth and half lies to plow those in the narrative and makes it explosive yet humanly subtle.
Following this character is almost a walk in a labyrinth of existential questions but where the answers are simply easy but too hard to accept. Defining yourself and yet never knowing yourself entirely, looking for love and understanding but yet hating to conform and trust.
Punctuating this effortless narrative are excerpts from modern music which enhance the course of the story and give it his own rhythm and also a soundtrack of feelings and blissful nostalgia.
The Blues so loved by the main character balances desires and catapults him to a more mature path where neurosis are known yet impair our judgments and choices.
I decided to not go into the plot too much and let the next reader enjoy its own odyssey and come back to the other side of this promising first novel, enlightened and eager to read more.