Reviewer Persis ("Perky") Granger: Perky is
an avid reader and a writer of fiction and nonfiction, including
Adirondack Gold, A Summer of Strangers and Shared Stories from
Daughters of Alzheimer's: Writing a path to peace. She studied at the
College of Wooster (OH) and the University of Massachusetts
(Amherst), earning a BA at the latter. She later completed her Master
of Science in Teaching at SUNY Plattsburgh.
She presents programs to adults and youth, and hosts writers’ retreats in New York and Florida. Learn more at www.PersisGranger.com (also accessed as www.FictionAmongFriends.com.)
View all articles by Persis Granger
Author: Eric M. Norcross
Publisher: Norcross Media
“The Violin Diary” is a brief love story told simply, from the point of view of Ezzie, a young man experiencing his first real love. We are with him when he first meets Carmen, the pretty Columbian woman he has been noticing at work. We feel his agony as he struggles to engage her in intelligent conversation; (“‘You’re new here, right?’ I’m a genius.”) We are thrilled with him as he notices her response; (“She was looking me directly in the eyes. They never look me in the eyes. Women.”) We ache with his frustration when he misses an opportunity to ask her out; (“I am such an idiot. I kick opportunities away like a rock in the street.) We’ve all been there. Each of us has felt those things. Eric Norcross lays them out on the page as living memorials to his first love—and ours.
Like Ezzie, we are delighted by Carmen’s straightforward and humorous conversation, and her delightful accent lilts off the page to our minds’ ears. Early in the story it is obvious to us (and it may be to Ezzie—on some level) that Carmen has a life plan, and Ezzie is not central to it. But we follow the friendship/romance where it leads us, because we have to; the first date, the first kiss, the first—well, no reason for this reviewer to spoil it for you. The relationship seems doomed to die when Carmen leaves to study art in Germany (“Under normal circumstances, that would have been it for me”), but Ezzie amazes himself by pursuing Carmen to Europe, a step that leads to sometimes painful, sometimes joyous self-growth.
There is rare beauty in the simplicity of the story and the lesson it teaches. In “The Violin Diary” Eric Norcross has written a memorable and uplifting novel.