The Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society recently announced the short list finalist; although I missed out, The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady was named a finalist and three other novels semi-finalist. This year they had 438 novels, 98% from the US.
The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady had been a finalist in their 2014 and 2012 contest, a Quarter-finalist in 2012 Amazon Breakthrough, and won fourth place in 2008 National Writers Association novel contest), though under a different title. Over the years, while rewriting the novel, I went back and forth over the title.
Originally it was The Lonely Death of Jonathan Brady. Although his death was the culmination of the novel, at that point, the novel was more about his “affair”, so I changed the title to The Lonely Affair of Jonathan Brady. After rewriting the novel, overhauling it completely, I changed the title to The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady. Although the novel opened with his death, I resurrected his life by examining it, the year-long events that led up to his death, followed by his spiritual “resurrection” after his funeral. Then I switched the title again and simply called it The Lonely Affair. Nice and simple I thought, but then I rethought that the following year because the novel was not just about the affair, so I went back and forth between The Lonely Affair of Jonathan Brady and The Resurrection of Jonathan Brady. Finally I hit on a perfect compromise, which fully encapsulates the novel since it’s about both: The Lonely Affair (and the Resurrection) of Jonathan Brady.
Here is the synopsis:
During Cabrina Chaval’s debut in The Magic Flute, Jonathan Brady was only sixteen years old, too young to understand the implications of that look — the way she poured out her heart, her soul to him. Twenty-two years later, she bumps into him and invites him to paint her house. Yet Jonathan knows her true intentions. She wants him to rescue her from her failing marriage so they can be together.
Through a series of coincidences, Jonathan is convinced that Cabrina Chaval is not only pursuing him but also deeply in love. Because of her prominent position in society and the fact that she’s married, Jonathan accepts that their love, for now, must be kept secret.
Recapturing the innocent love between two sixteen year olds and coming to terms with the loss of a domineering mother, Jonathan Brady’s delusion takes him through five distinct stages of love — Heightened Awareness, Playful Pursuit, Courtship and Romance, Jealousy and Suspicion, Reconciliation and Acceptance — all unbeknown to Cabrina Chaval.
After some soul-searching about the state of her marriage, Cabrina Chaval resurrects Jonathan Brady’s life and, in the process, elevates his love for her to its penultimate stage — Eternal Love.
—Borneo Expat Writer