Danyel Smith is one of the most acclaimed music journalists of her generation, a prose stylist who “writes with music in her language” (Quincy Jones). In Bliss, a thrillingly sensual tale drenched with love and music, Smith dives deep into an intriguing set of characters facing life-changing choices in the swirl of the music industry at its decadent peak.
At a glossy gathering on Paradise Island, record exec Eva Glenn—soulful, sexy, powerful, and possibly pregnant—is hosting a comeback showcase for her singing sensation Sunny Addison, a barefoot diva with a poet’s heart and the voice of a lion. At the event’s high-strung peak, however, Eva begins to sink beneath the waves of anxiety washing over her—anxiety about a confusing sexual triangle, a career at a crossroads, and choices to be made about her possible pregnancy—and decides, in a blink, to flee. She leaves Paradise for the petite, pastoral island of Cat, accompanied by her sometime-lover D’Artagnan Addison, an earnestly crazy mystic looking for answers of his own. What begins as an idyllic break quickly turns into an intense sojourn that brings Eva to terms with the crises closing in on her.
Smith casts a wittily skeptical eye on the absurd drama of the music industry, but infuses every page with an infectious, bracing, unashamed passion for the power of pop. Her language matches the spirit of the music she writes about, echoing everything from throaty blues shouts and hip hop menace to the transcendent joy of a perfect R & B love song. This is a novel about the real rhythm and blues of life, about pain and loss and why we hold tight, in the end, to the sex and music and love that offer us a fleeting glimpse of bliss, even when the price is steep.
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