Five Night Stand by Richard Alley is a dramatic story filled with the passion, joy and heartache of music and one that spoke to my heart. 4*

Five Night Stand by Richard Alley Book Review and Giveaway!

Five Night Stand by Richard Alley Book Review and Giveaway!

I received this book for free from TLC Book Tours for review consideration, opinions expressed are 100% my own. This post contains affiliate links as indicated by an asterisk. Purchases from these links provides a small commission to me at no extra cost to you.

Five Night Stand by Richard Alley
Published by Lake Union
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Pages: 272
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Indie Bookstores | Amazon


Legendary jazz pianist Oliver Pleasant finds himself alone at the end of his career, playing his last five shows, hoping the music will draw his estranged family back…

Frank Severs, a middle-aged, out-of-work journalist, is at a crossroads as his longtime dreams and marriage grind to a standstill…

And piano prodigy Agnes Cassady is desperately grasping for fulfillment before a debilitating disease wrenches control from her trembling fingers…

When Frank and Agnes come to New York to witness Oliver’s final five-night stand, the timeless force of Oliver’s music pulls the trio together. Over the course of five nights, the three reflect on their triumphs and their sorrows: families forsaken, ideals left along the wayside, secrets kept. Their shared search for meaning and direction in a fractured world creates an unexpected kinship that just might help them make sense of the past, find peace in the present, and muster the courage to face the future.”

My Thoughts:

Five Night Stand took me on a journey back to my childhood. I loved sitting at the piano and getting lost in the music. My doggies at my feet as I played, I recorded my music on a cassette tape as I dreamed of being a concert pianist. My fierce stage fright and introverted tendencies killed my concert pianist dreams and since the Rheumatoid Arthritis has taken away my ability to play piano.  The piano in our home a constant reminder of what I loved and lost.

Richard Alley beautifully captures the emotion of the pianists as they pour their heart and soul into the pieces they hope brings a joie de vivre to their audience and helps them cope with their greatest struggles. Each character we meet in Five Night Stand has been touched by the contagious music of 85 year old jazz pianist Oliver Pleasant. Oliver recounts his story about being a black musician in the South during the Civil Rights movement, how his career impacted his marriage and the children he never saw. A career filled with excitement, money, music and regrets all comes to a close with Oliver’s final Five Night Stand. 

The other characters in the story are all there to see Oliver’s final hurrah, though he knows none of them personally. Young pianist Agnes struggles with an undiagnosed disorder that causes her hands to tremble which could steal her dreams from under her. I most related to Agnes, not understanding what is happening to her body when other twenty-somethings are living their carefree, healthy lives but knowing whatever this disease is, it is eating away at her soul. It’s wonderful and heartbreaking to learn each character’s story and how their lives have been impacted by Oliver and his music. 

Five Night Stand is a dramatic story filled with the passion, joy and heartache of music and one that spoke to my heart. Richard Alley’s writing is lyrical, the way he writes about music elegant. He made me feel about music the way my favorite book, Shadow of the Wind, made me feel about books: enamored and yearning for more great stories like it.


USA – Winona, Mississippi; New Orleans, Louisiana, Memphis, Tennessee and Harlem, New York

Tour Schedule:

Be sure to visit these other fabulous bloggers on the tour and see what they have to say about Five Night Stand.
Monday, May 11th: The Avid Reader
Tuesday, May 12th: Books a la Mode – author guest post
Tuesday, May 12th: Bell, Book & Candle
Wednesday, May 13th: Ageless Pages Reviews
Thursday, May 14th: Bibliotica
Monday, May 18th: BookNAround
Monday, May 18th: Palmer’s Page Turners
Tuesday, May 19thMom’s Small Victories
Thursday, May 21stColloquium
Friday, May 22ndTina Says…
Tuesday, May 26thMy Book Retreat
Wednesday, May 27thUnshelfish
Thursday, May 28thA Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
Monday, June 1stPriscilla and her Books
Tuesday, June 2ndPatricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, June 3rdFictionophile
Friday, June 5thThe Well-Read Redhead
What books about music did you love? What books have you loved and made you want more just like it?  

About Richard Alley

From author’s website: “Richard is an award-winning freelance reporter and columnist, as well as the editor of Inside Memphis Business. He has written the parenting column “Because I Said So” for The Commercial Appeal since 2008. Richard is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, where he currently lives with his wife and four children.”


  1. So sorry to hear that you can’t play the piano any longer. But I loved your review, I think my husband would like it – he is a musician. I liked Shadow of the wind too. Have you read The book thief? That’s good also.
    I’m going to take a look through the tour also.
    Thank you

  2. Sounds like a wonderful book. I love hearing people play the piano it is so soothing. My daughter who is six years old has juvenile arthritis aka JIA. She takes strong medications to control the disease. It started on her knees and now her hands and hips are starting to give her problems. Sending prayers your way for times when you are feeling down and in pain.

    1. Oh I’m so sorry to hear your daughter has JIA. It’s one of my biggest fears that one of my sons will inherit RA from me. Thanks for your kind words and gentle hugs to you and your daughter from me.

      1. It is hard breaking to see her in pain. It runs in my husband’s side of the family. She was tested for the gene Anklosing Spondylitis and it came back positive. I hope your little ones don’t carry the gene. It is beyond heartbreaking to see your kids in pain and taking so many strong medications at such a young age. Thank you for the gentle hugs 🙂

        1. Very sorry to hear it runs in the family. I was never told i could get my kids tested. My parents are from India and they don’t know any immediate relatives who have RA but a family member was diagnosed with Sjorgens after I was with RA (at 27 years old after my first son was born). I can only imagine how hard it is for you to see her in such pain and such strong drugs coursing through her little body. What does she take? I am on Remicade and Plaquenil. Remicade allows me to walk but it’s pretty strong and I wonder about the long term effects. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

          1. You were young when you were first diagnosed too. My little one is currently on Naproxen (2x daily), folic acid (daily), iron, calcium, vitamin D, multivitamin (all daily), plus weekly injections of methotrexate. Her Pediatric rheumatologist wants to add Humira injections too. Her SED rate has been high and she’s anemic this is why the iron was added. She gets her blood drawn monthly. Her liver enzymes were slightly elevated this month so her rheumatologist told us to skip the methotrexate injection last Friday until her new lab results came back. We took her in on Monday to get more blood work. I am still waiting on the results. She’s had steroid injections on both knees and has been on oral steroids on and off. The methotrexate injections was what helped her walk again. Since her SED rate is still high and other joints are being affected her rheumatologist is pushing us on adding Humira. She’s in kindergarten and poor things gets sick every month.

  3. Your wonderful review was captivating. The story and the characters are profound. This novel sounds memorable and unforgettable. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway.

    1. Thanks Anne. I love when books strike an emotional cord with me and Five Night Stand did that for me. Good luck with the giveaway!

  4. Sounds great, I think I’ve never read a book focused on a musician character.
    So sad you couldn’t keep on playing music because of your condition 🙁

    1. I’ve had a hard time even teaching my kids to play piano. But it sits in our house collecting picture frames instead of making music so I really need to get over it!

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