By all odds, Winter Journey should not be a particularly successful novel. Its plot and characters are, on the surface anyway, fairly standard, if not trite. It's the story of a sensitive young man's coming of age, involving a voyage of discovery to—where else?—Rome, his ineffectual father left behind; his romance with a beautiful older woman, his music teacher; a friend who is a misunderstood homosexual; his mother's mysterious Italian lover; a tidy resolution, and so on. Yet, thanks to T. Alan Broughton's considerable talent, these stock elements combine into a moving, finely crafted novel, full of real people about whom the reader comes to care deeply.
Part of the novel's power lies in...
(The entire section is 533 words.)