April 20, 2011

Review & Interview: Private Sessions By Nigel Barto

Jordy Blackwell is an educated guy from Ashton, Maryland who understands loss. As a young child, he loses his grandmother. A case that goes unsolved. He inherits most of her money with the condition that he attends college and law school. His grandmother wanted him to be a suit-wearing man, a lawyer, a somebody.   By the time he gets to college, he is alone in the world. He loses his mother and home during a domestic dispute the year he begins school. He continues on the road to living up to his grandmother's wishes and graduates from law school. But his life takes a destructive turn. He loses his girlfriend, his stamina for wanting to be a lawyer, and his self-identity. He dances with sex and drugs, and attempts to lose his life. He finds himself in a hospital in the care of Dr. Davis. She forces him to examine his life, and to determine what he wants from it. As his life story unfolds, Jordy makes interesting discoveries.

My Review: 

Jordy lived in a little house behind his grandmother's house with his mom. He was basically raised by two women, his mom and his grandmother. Both of them with different values. Jordy was never allowed in his grandmother's house. That was until the tragic day that his grandmother was murdered. Going through all sorts of emotions, his grandmother had left him with a nice sum of money but in return for him to become a lawyer.

His childhood was filled with lots of pain and loss. Jordy's mom was murdered in front of him. As a result he ended up living with relatives, which later on he left to continue school. His rough childhood continued into his adult life. But that didn't stop him from accomplishing what his grandmother dreamed for him. Surely life has to get better with education and knowledge, but not for Jordy. Not really catching a break, from losing his girlfriend and not passing the bar, he started making destructive decisions. Decisions that lead him into a hospital.

Maybe getting therapy is what he needs to get his life back on track. Having to face his dark past, some things come to light in which he has to make new decisions. Hopefully this time around he can make the right decision/s.

This was a fast & good read. Makes you wish you were there for Jordy. So you can talk him and advise him that certain decisions are life altering. Had Jordy been a friend of mine, I would work really hard not to let him become self destructive. Not many get the chance to go to a good school. So to have the education he had and to go and destroy that with rash decisions is something I wouldn't allow to happen without him hearing my mouth. He had so much going for himself but with his experiences and his past, I don't blame him for wanting to do what he wants and basically not care. But he invested too much to lose it now. This was a good read, but it's a stand alone book. I would have liked to continue to read on how he changes his life around in the future.

Here's my interview with Nigel:

I grew up in Maryland with hard working parents who didn‘t quite understand why
I was such a dreamer. I began writing poems for my mom when I was a young
boy, 2nd grade, and my creative side complimented or competed with everything
I did. My secret desire to be an author, and my love for creating stories came
after I wrote a story about leaving Paris.

1. Have you written any other books? If so how are they different from "Private
My other novel, "Nick, Dontae, Gus & Jack" is a story of four career-minded
friends in their late twenties who grapple with who they are, what they want, how
to balance work and life, and win at love. It’s summertime, so they also want
to go to the beach. This is a bi, gay, straight, and lesbian story. It's definitely
different from Jordy’s troubled journey in "Private Sessions". But, I would say a
prevalent message in my books is love. Love Is Love.

My latest book, “feed me” will be released in April, and is inspired by people and
places along my journey. It's ten short stories of love and thankfulness.

2. What was your inspiration behind writing "Private Sessions"?
It was an unfocused time of wanting to succeed at something but not knowing
what that something should be. I was ignoring the obvious passion and trying to
find other things I could be passionate about. I was also learning the difference
between doing what I like and liking what I do. I was in a somewhat dark place,
and it gave me the space to write about loss, and Jordy's terrible dance with life.

3. What kind of advice would you give to someone that's going through the same
situation that your character is going through in "Private Sessions"?
Recognize that the unusual, out of control behavior displayed is a symptom of
something else. You need to pause, and allow yourself to help yourself, and for
others to help you figure it out so you can stop the destruction, and heal.

4. What do you want your readers to gain from reading your book?
There is always hope, and it doesn‘t have to be on a grand scale. You don’t have
to be stuck in life because of your past. You will travel dangerous, unfamiliar or
uncertain roads in search of love and answers. These will be lessons. Accept
who you were, who you are, free yourself of guilt, and continue on to happy, a
step at a time.

To catch more of me or say hello, tweet me or send a note on my site,
www.nigelbarto.com. And remember, Enjoy the Journey, Forget the End!

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