Oliver and Eleanor: Only One Season for Love is a novel whose idea came to the author’s mind when he was going to work one grey rainy day. On his way, he was listening to classical instrumental music. There was a moment when one melody finished and another one started. In the beginning, it seemed very simple and boring, just like the weather and his surroundings that day. But then, he clearly saw a picture of a lonely, homeless man on the verge of death, who was playing his unheard-of music for the last time in his life, expressing all the pain that he’s carried through his life, all within just a few seconds. At one point, when the pianist seemed to be finishing and that his life would end with the last note, the author wanted to change the track to something lighter, something that would cause depression and feeling how tragic life was like. But then all of a sudden, at the very end, a violin gently and harmoniously flows into the melody, changing not only the melody itself but everything around. The pianist, who had been sitting alone at the piano in a grey closed room where no sunlight could creep in, suddenly started to see the sun coming up, shining on him and wrapping him in its warm embrace. It was the violin that quietly and carefully broke into his nearly finished melody. It came and changed everything from the melody to the feelings the pianist was experiencing. The two melodies fused into one, as if it was one complete piece of music, although it hadn’t seemed so from the start. The grand piano had sounded so complete, yet the violin was able to join in harmoniously in the middle of the piece. That’s how the idea for Oliver was born. A story about a homeless man who decided to end his life through suicide, unable to bear his life on the streets any longer. After his failed suicide attempt, he went to get out from the rain, escaping unnoticed into an airport. There, he found the grand piano right in the middle of a large hall. He was playing it for the last time, when he met a wonderful, beautiful girl named Eleanor – who turned out to be blind. After hearing the melody about his life, she literally decided to help him and took him to Milan where she was to have a concert. As it turned out later, Eleanor was a talented and world-famous violin player touring the world. Oliver got a chance for a new life. However, he had a secret that he couldn’t reveal to Eleanor, who had just started to trust him. The secret would later come to the surface, telling a story that would explain how such a talented man ended up on the streets, leading such a wretched life.
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Vasyl Malyi, a young Ukrainian author, was born in Western Ukraine. Vasyl is from a very small town with a population of only 18,000 people. He studied at a Berezhany Gymnasium (similar to a preparatory school) named after Bogdan Lepkov. After the gymnasium, he went on to study in a medical college to become a dental technician. He believed this was his calling and that his talent lay in the skillfulness of his hands. He was partly right about that. After college, he found a job in his hometown. After working there for five years, he realized that he was not enjoying what he was doing at all.
He began to search for his true passion. He wanted to find something that would keep him awake at night and make him forget to eat during the day. He started to remember his childhood and school years and analyze what his strengths used to be. He had never enjoyed any school subject and he never excelled at any of them. The biggest pain was his mother tongue, the Ukrainian language. He was completely illiterate and useless at it. He was probably the worst student in the history of the school. His teachers used to get mad at him and yell that no one could make as many mistakes as he could. But it never stopped him. Deep inside, he was always striving to write and express his thoughts and ideas in a way that everyone could eventually hear what he wanted to express. At school, his compositions were the longest ones. Whereas others could write a page or two, he was easily able to write four or six pages within the same time limit. While other students were thinking and looking for ideas to write about, he lacked enough time, for his speedy and swift hand to splash out the turbulent flow of his ideas and fantasies. His handwriting, as well as his knowledge of grammar and spelling, were quite pitiful, however. He used to confuse certain letters, which still give him trouble even now. He keeps confusing the Cyrillic letters “ш” and “х” to this day. But it never stopped him; he never betrayed his principles and he kept writing. He never paid attention to his classmate’s smirks or teachers’ reprimands because they were unable to read his compositions due to the large number of mistakes and his terrible handwriting. He was shaky and sweaty before every Ukrainian class because it would always be another comedy and another storm of criticism from his teachers. He wanted to escape those lessons and never attend again. His Ukrainian teacher must have hated him; she never spared any energy or words pointing out all his mistakes and repeat over and over again that he was the worst of the worst.
But one day everything changed. He had a new subject – foreign literature – and a new teacher. She was a remarkable, outstanding person who turned his entire world upside down. This teacher was completely different from his Ukrainian teacher. She was from a different universe. She was smart, understanding, kind, and honest. She introduced him to the world of foreign literature, authors, and cultures. She was the first person who ever praised his work. She was able to recognize the ideas he was trying to put on paper. Then one day, someone said that the beginning of one of his compositions was truly genius. Surprisingly, these words didn’t come from his favorite teacher, but from his Ukrainian teacher! However, the brilliant beginning wasn’t enough to save him from getting a bad grade on the complete composition. But that was probably the greatest – and most unexpected – compliment the teacher ever gave him.
Soon afterward, that same teacher went on maternity leave after delivering twins, leaving him alone. He still remembers that day, when he finally gave a sigh of relief. Strange as it might seem, he felt very inspired. But, however good or brilliant his ideas might have been, the grammar mistakes would keep him trapped. One day, he wrote a four-page composition that had 54 grammar and spelling mistakes. Yet, since the idea was unique and the writing style was good, he got the highest points for its contents. So, in the end, he had an average score for that composition as a whole.
The itch to write wouldn’t leave him alone. However, after finishing school, he didn’t get to writing. A new life began, in which he was supposed to continue his studies and get ready for the profession he had chosen, not follow his calling. He used to have some writing ideas, which he would occasionally jot down. But he lacked the courage to write a full, sincere, honest book. Until one day when he couldn’t keep it in any longer and started letting out everything he felt, writing it down on paper. He eventually started writing and following his calling. It was impossible for him not to start writing. Ideas, thoughts, plot twists were bombarding his mind, creating new images and pictures he was itching to express and write on paper. Until one day there came an idea that was a final turning point. The idea forced him to stay awake for many nights in a row and write his first book at the age of 22.