This is a quick but nuanced and entertaining read, about letting go of the past and moving on, as well as respecting one's heritage and keeping old traditions alive. Stuart is a lovely guy, a bear-like man with a gentle soul, still unable to replace the last picture of him and his ex, which is wallpaper on his phone (hence the story title.)
Without giving too much away, I spent a lot of the story wondering how these two were going to get together, but this is the story of a healing affair, not a full-blown romance, and it is all the better for it. The ending is the only one that makes sense, and it's lovely.
This story is a great introduction to this author's writing. His affectionately drawn, intensely human characters are relatable and likeable, the dialogue sparky and the sex is closed door, but a steamy scene wouldn't have felt right with this subtle, bittersweet story. Recommended.
Stuart is a reporter for a seldom-watched history channel, forty-one years old, and recently single. His latest assignment has taken him to the beautiful country of Georgia to film a traditional polyphonic choir—one of the last of its kind. The choir is run by Otar, a gruff man of strong opinions who is used to getting his own way.
When it’s suggested that Stuart get involved with the choir’s latest performance, he will have to quickly learn how to sing in Georgian, perform a traditional dance, and avoid butting heads with Otar. He probably shouldn’t drink too much wine the night before the show, either.
As Otar struggles to keep the past alive, can he help Stuart to leave his behind?