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Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite
Beyond The Headlights by Allan Davis is a slice-of-life drama story that follows a musical savant's coming-of-age story. Since she was four years old, Aiyana has been able to play Chopin without ever listening to his music. Despite having a learning disability, Aiyana's synesthesia gives her the gift of playing the piano like a true virtuoso at a tender age. But living in extreme poverty at a trailer park with her alcoholic mother prohibits Aiyana from pursuing music. A kindly Catholic priest on his deathbed organizes a way for Aiyana to get into Julliard. But her mother's creepy boyfriend, with his untoward advances, doesn't want to let Aiyana out of his sight. A chance encounter with a recent widower changes Aiyana's life as they form a burgeoning friendship that soon evolves into an unconventional relationship.
Filled with heartbreak and loss, Beyond The Headlights makes you contemplate the intangible forces that can sometimes alter your life's trajectory. Allan Davis has created a gripping drama with well-developed characters and an unpredictable plot that has you in its grip from beginning to end. Davis has a knack for crafting believable characters with inherent flaws that make them feel like real people. You can't help but sympathize with Aiyana's plight, being raised in a neglectful home and having to spurn the advances of her mother's boyfriend. It makes sense that she falls in love with probably the first man who showed her genuine kindness after she grew up. But I'm still unsure about their relationship considering some issues and the power dynamics involved. Overall, a riveting story that I will highly recommend.