Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The Cult of Nostalgia by Bruce Bruschi

One night in Paris and I'm already doing stupid things but Simon's been brainwashed and it's not pretty.
                                                  Love Carly xxxxx
P.S. Paris has all of the charms of Baltimore!

Carly is convinced that her boyfriend Simon is about to propose.   He's been dropping quite a few hints recently, ever since he got involved with Morningside - a sort of self-help cult.  Carly is a life coach, and Simon is in need of coaching; he's neurotic, dissatisfied with life, a little bit odd.   Armed with a wedding dress bought on a whim from a vintage shop, Carly is ready to get married.
So is Simon, except he's not marrying Carly.   Out of the blue, from nowhere, Simon up and marries another Morningside member and they take off to Paris for a honeymoon.

Carly is convinced that Simon has been brainwashed, he's also taken her great-uncle's memoirs with him. She is determined to get both the book back, and Simon.   Helped by Simon's brother Josh, Carly sets off to find Simon, and to find out just what is going on.

Intwined into this story is the story of Carly's great-uncle.  His time in Paris during both the 1920s and the 1960s, hanging out with the likes of Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds.

It took me quite some time to really engage with this story.  Carly is a bit of a kook, as they'd say in America, and to be honest, at first I thought she was just a bit dumb.   Once I'd got through the first 120 pages or so, I started to really enjoy the story.   Paris is brought to life, in Carly's modern-day story, and in her great-uncle's stories too.    I loved reading about literary giants such as the Fitzgeralds.  The writing flows easily once the story is established, and the characters develop warmth over time.

The Cult of Nostalgia was published on 4 July 2013 by Cutting Edge Press, my thanks as always to Saffeya for sending my copy for review.

Bruce Bruschi has worked in academic and arts administration in roles that have taken him from San The Cult of Nostalgia, his first novel.
Francisco, via Honolulu and Paris to Cambridge where he now lives with his partner.  Winning prizes for his short stories and plays spurred him to write


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