Nicholas Affini, an author/illustrator at the beginning of his career, invents a nature-based currency while working on a children’s book about ecology. His plant-based currency could change how people earn money and make a living—but the global potential of his idea overwhelms him. He abandons his entrepreneurial future and spends two years consumed by his job as a marketing art director. That one simple choice unleashes a life-disrupting force around him.
A success at his new job, Nicholas ignores all the warning signs that his life is slowly unraveling until he encounters Paige Santrelle, an aspiring songwriter. Their chance meeting unlocks a creative connection nurtured by their shared passion for music and art. As their relationship develops, Paige attracts an enigmatic presence that seems to know everything about Nicholas and his internal struggles. Although initially thrown by the experience, she decides to explore her connection to this mystifying being. In the middle of an endless California summer, Paige finds herself on a quest to reconnect Nicholas to his original gifts and life purpose, critical to his survival and future.
Life: part-time is a magical realism fable of loss, love, and rediscovering the personal courage required to living a meaningful life, filled with supportive friendships that inspire creativity.
Plot: Gerson employs elements of magical realism and mysticism to explore a man's path back to creativity and purposeful living.
Prose: The author provides an engaging blend of dreamlike prose with clear exposition and impactful dialogue.
Originality: This novel takes a unique approach to exploring ideas relating to life purpose, disillusionment, and the tensions between inner desires and practical needs.
Character/Execution: Readers will readily empathize with Nicholas Affini as he takes a metaphysical journey into his past and to his subconscious self. Additional characters effectively serve the fable-like aspects of the narrative.
Date Submitted: August 31, 2020