Tag Archives: author: ralph josiah bardsley

The Photographer’s Truth by Ralph Josiah Bardsley

The Photographer's Truth

The Photographer’s Truth by Ralph Josiah Bardsley

Published by: Bold Strokes Books on July 12, 2016
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)

Ian’s life seems to be on track. He has a wife and two intelligent, well-adjusted sons. He’s a key part of a software startup that looks to be going nowhere but up. There’s nothing he feels is missing. This is what he’s worked for all his life.

But when a long-term assignment in Paris takes Ian away from his family and his life, his perspective begins to shift. Especially after he meets Luca, a former fashion photographer with a skill that leaves Ian in awe. As the two become closer friends, Ian’s memory of a brief one-night encounter with another young man in college brings him to a “what if” moment. Yes, Ian has what many would call a perfect life waiting for him back at home. But is that really the life he wants, or is it just the life he expects? While he knows he can go back and continue in his role as husband and father, would he then be true to himself?

This is the second Ralph Josiah Bardsley book I’ve read, and I’m always impressed by this author’s ability to capture characters who are on the brink. A character like Ian is dealing with a lot in this story. He’s confronting truths about himself–some of which he’s buried and some of which he’s never seen before. He’s trying to reconcile the responsibilities of his life and how they might fit into a possible new truth. But it’s all done in a way that feels very real and authentic without simply piling on the angst as so many authors would do.

The only reason this doesn’t pull a higher rating from me is that I would have liked to see a bit more in the resolution. But this is still a great read, and I give it a strong recommendation.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Brothers by Ralph Josiah Bardsley

Brothers

Book Info

Title: Brothers
Author: Ralph Josiah Bardsley
Published: December 14, 2015
Pages: 254
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publisher’s Website: link
Rating: ★★★

Review

Jamus Cork’s life has not gone in the direction he’d planned. When his parents died while he was in his early twenties, he became the guardian for his younger brother. Though he’s experienced some success as a writer, everything he’s done since then has been for Nick. Friendships, relationships, love: those are all things he’s denied himself out of obligation and an intense guilt he’s carried for years. Sean Malloy is the youngest in a traditional, South Boston Irish family. He’s stood out as different from the rest of his family all his life, through his academic pursuits, his love of books, and his resistance to pressures to date and marry. He’s just moved back home after taking a teaching job at a prep school. His focus on school has allowed him to ignore some of the things about himself that he’s not just ready to face. But when Sean and Jamus meet in church, there’s an instant connection and all of their secrets threaten to spill out at once.

In the realm of understated family drama, this book rushes to the front of the pack. There’s the dynamic between Jamus and Nick, which has all kinds of complications, and then there’s the Malloys, who all take things a little bit differently as they come. There are also some glimpses of a completely different family dynamic through Nick’s friend, Matt. The things we do for family, those ties that bind us together–those are the things that really matter, even if they might mean something different to each person or manifest in different ways. But it’s important that we notice and recognize the ways people show they care, even if it might not always be the way we would show it or the way we would prefer.

[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]