“In a chance encounter on a New Orleans levee top, a respected neuroscientist crosses paths with an itinerant blues singer. The result of the meeting launches the doctor on a voyage of discovery about jazz, about his beloved New Orleans, about human relations, and mainly about his own search for understanding the horrible affliction of Alzheimer's disease which he had battled clinically for years. In his search he discovers that it is not enough to simply study the physical brain and it's attending neurons and synapses but also to recognize the beauty of the person for whom the brain functions.
Dr. Nicolas Bazan has written a novel that is wrapped within interests that he obviously knows and cares about deeply. In doing so we are not only given a well-told story, but an invitation to passionately embrace his favorite subjects through the thoughts, dreams and dialogue of his characters. Admittedly, at times we are not sure if we are listening to the musings and observations of his main character, Alvaro Cruz, or lectures in history, culture and medicine by Bazan himself. In either case we understand the goal that Cruz/Bazan has set for himself early on. In the ancient, childlike and bluesy Mazy Waters - Una Vida - we see the embodiment of all that the inquisitive Cruz must confront as cognition slowly saps essence from her being. Throughout we explore Cruz's efforts to piece together members of her family and her past, all in a race against the time left to the mind of the singer.”(Patrick M. Burke (New Orleans, Louisiana))