I was sixteen that last time I read a book that on finishing I turned back to the first page to start again. Forty years later Nick Earls’ novella Gotham demanded to be re-read at a slower pace for the sheer enjoyment of savouring the story and indulging the discovery of nuances I missed.
Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” Highlighting the fact that it is harder to write concisely and eloquently.
Nick Earls demonstrates the skills and craftsmanship of deftly bringing to life the characters and showcasing their personalities, even the bit players in a limited number of words. In the twenty-four hours the story spans, I found myself reevaluating my assessment of the characters multiple times, almost from paragraph to paragraph as Nick revealed new insights through their actions.
The story will resonate for any parent or child as each character struggles with balancing, money, work, success and people’s perceptions, against the needs and expectations of family, even family who may not be with them any longer.
This story is beautifully written and evokes a vast array of emotions but for me, it was the ease and enjoyment of reading the story that made me settle more firmly into my chair. A story where you find yourself nodding as Nick shows us life’s checks and balances, expectations, disappointments, and compromises. Compromises between earning a living and caring for a family many of us make.
Nick is releasing a new novella in his Wisdom Tree Series on the first of each month until September. I, for one, will be waiting for them all.