Frank Severs, a middle-aged, out-of-work journalist, is at a crossroads as his longtime dreams and marriage grind to a standstill…
And piano prodigy Agnes Cassady is desperately grasping for fulfillment before a debilitating disease wrenches control from her trembling fingers…
When Frank and Agnes come to New York to witness Oliver’s final five-night stand, the timeless force of Oliver’s music pulls the trio together. Over the course of five nights, the three reflect on their triumphs and their sorrows: families forsaken, ideals left along the wayside, secrets kept. Their shared search for meaning and direction in a fractured world creates an unexpected kinship that just might help them make sense of the past, find peace in the present, and muster the courage to face the future.
"The last few chapters had me in tears and was written in an almost musical way. This is a brilliant story by a brilliant author, and is a must read."
". . . it felt poetic to me . . . it’s a riff. It’s this wonderful booze-y, blues-y use of language that combines the sharp notes of New York with the softer ones of the South, where jazz and blues were really born."
" . . . a dramatic story filled with the passion, joy and heartache of music and one that spoke to my heart."
". . . his prose reads like an intricate symphony, downright lyrical."
"Smooth and poetic, Alley's writing style immerses the reader into the musical setting, making you want to linger over the words with an old record playing in the background."
"Oliver Pleasant is the best character I've come across in ages. He's real. He's genuine. He's also a tortured soul full of regret, too many miles, too many late nights, and too much hooch. But he's wise and he has stories to tell and some songs yet to play. You'll love him, like his author loves him."
"Finely etched characters delineated with great insight and empathy, and a plot that builds and builds toward a unique and satisfying conclusion, are two of its many strengths."
"Alley tells his story in lean, unadorned prose that captures the vividness of his characters’ motivations and desires."
"FIVE NIGHT STAND is simply a story about life. More specifically, it is a gentle tale portraying musical passion and its power to reveal secrets of the past and ambitious hopes for the future."