The Nocturne Bistro

New book alert!

The Nocturne Bistro was generously donated to us recently by Nick May, one of our spectacular servers and baristas.

I always get excited when books are donated to the Raven, and it’s particularly exciting when it is a special book. This is one of those special books, as it was written by Nick’s grandfather, Arden R. Strother.

A bit about the book, from the jacket blurb:

The Nocturne Bistro tells the story of a magical place of enchantment and the people whose lives it touched. Foremost among them were the young lovers: Arden and Sprite. He was a violinist and she a ballerina, who could be among the greatest the world had ever known. But the place they sealed their love, the Nocturne Bistro, was in a small town, and ambition to share their art dictated that they move on, far beyond this tiny, remote place where they discovered their love. Could they survive apart?”

Arden Strother was born in Grand Rapids in 1933. He served in the Navy in the 1950s aboard the USS Palau. He was an inventor, and held several patents through Chrysler.

There was a sequel to The Nocturne Bistro in the works, though this is the only volume that was published before his passing in 2010.

“He references many classical musicians, some film.” Nick said. “All the characters are mystical creatures and he had very detailed biographies for each one. It’s unique to see; I wonder if it had been published later, if it would have found a fan base. My mom always told me he said ‘Read something every day, learn something new.’”

We talked a bit about how writers are generally better at showing emotion through writing rather than verbalizing their feelings.

“Reading this book, his poems, and short stories really made me understand my grandpa more, that he really had a love for music, a sensitive artistic side, and was a hopeless romantic. It’s special to see that side of someone, when if he hadn’t written no one would have ever known.”

Like his grandpa, Nick says that he continues to write when he can.

If you would like to take a look at The Nocturne Bistro for yourself, it currently resides on one of the featured shelves upstairs.

-Jessica, your Media Specialist

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