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"Jess Cappello is brought to life through the eyes of one who must have known and experienced the inner workings of a photographer. The exquisite detail developed to expose his challenging life is a wonderfully delightful read. By the end of book I was convinced I would want to exhibit the work of this amazing, more real than life, creative soul. Bravo! Bravo!" - Dennis High, Executive Director/Curator, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel, California

Witness the opportunity that is youth and the journey that is age. A tale of two destinies, two passions undiminished by setback or denial.

Jess Cappello learned to photograph on the battlefields of Korea. Forty years later, at the apex of his career, the aged artist discovers he is losing his sight, and his muse--the dazzling young painter Catalina Brezza. Across the continent, Dr. Sarah Harte-Valentine is determined to prevent her daughter, the fiery redheaded Zoë, a teenage cello prodigy, from following in the footsteps of her wayward father, a London jazzman. At stake, an audition that could make, or break, Zoë’s promising career.

Pressed to desperate measures, Sarah brings Zoë with her on an outback photography expedition, led by famed New Mexican photographer Jess Cappello. When a mountain lion stalks the camp and Jess fails to make a critical shot that could save their lives, Sarah deciphers the secret of his failing eyesight. In the face of Sarah’s formidable personality, an unexpected bond forms between the irascible photographer and the hot-headed rebellious teenager as Sarah barters the photographer’s growing influence over her daughter against her medical ability to treat Jess’ encroaching blindness. It is not until Jess returns with Sarah and her daughter to California and enters the world of Zoë’s music that he discovers the young cellist is driven by a passion and purity of instinct he understands. At stake is more than just one man’s vision and one young girl’s gift, but the absolute destiny of both.

First published 2000 by The Malvern Publishing Co. Ltd.,
United Kingdom
Second Edition, 2005

Cover photograph:
Olive Grove at Hidden Villa, 2000, by Kenneth Grunzweig