Song on the Sand
, the latest novella release from author Ruth Sims, has earned five-stars from reviewer Martha Miller at Amazon. Here’s what Ms. Miller had to say:
One of my favorite stories is Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.” I find myself drawn to it because of the unusual ending. In “Song of the Sand,” Ruth Sims pays homage to Hemingway’s haunting final scene, only instead of an African safari, readers are thrust down in the middle of Sunnyland Acres nursing home.
If you’ve ever wondered what happens to drag queens when they get old, Sims gives us a plausible picture with the bittersweet (yet unsentimental) story of Tony Dalby. His dry wit eclipses deep feelings or pain and regret about the past, yet he doesn’t hide his anger about the present. The story begins with a resounding “No,” as he argues with the powers that be, “Big Butt and “Mean Aid,” while he is dressed. He looks forward to the daily confrontations, even though he always loses, because they make him feel alive. He makes his caregivers work hard to dress him, and then they wheel him to the sunroom and park him there. Little does he know that things are about to change. For all of us, transformation comes on a completely normal day and is often so subtle that it takes time to recognize it. On this day, Tony first sees a visitor who wears a red shirt and dark jeans, “and his hair [is] as fair as if Rumpelstiltskin had spun it that very morning.” Tony remembers of a time when a man like that would be waiting in his dressing room, when he had a dressing room.
Ruth Sims doesn’t go for the cliché. This is not a romance but a story of redemption that involves the reader by depth of character, humor and irony. The fair haired young man is Drew who visits his lover Jesse, a nursing home resident who has been unresponsive since he was hit by a car. Drew had to lie and commit fraud to keep his lover alive and be able to visit him, and he is torn by the injustice. Tony befriends Drew and Jesse and finds that by helping them his life takes on new significance.
In truth, aging is not for the faint of heart. Tony and Drew are the heroes in a drama that awaits many of us. The story will resonate with baby-boomers because it’s about the things that scare us all as we approach old age: that we’ll end up powerless, helpless, loveless and alone. As “A Song of Sand” comes to an end, we realize we always wanted the best for Tony, and as with Hemingway’s white hunter, the best comes.
We appreciate the kind review!
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