Sunday, April 12, 2020

The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

I don't know about you all but I am finding a lot of solace in music during this time of self isolation. If we can see silver linings to this COVID19 clouds, one is that we are lucky that this pandemic has happened at a time where it is possible to connect with all sorts of artists who are sharing their talents freely with the world through social media.

Just today while I have been writing this post, I have been watching Gary Barlow's Crooner sessions where he teams up with other artists to sing and then Richard Marx's Beachin' sessions which is just him and his guitar singing various songs. The Crooner sessions, in particular, are loads of fun and they just make me feel better while I sing along.

There are also so many ways to see things we just would not have otherwise seen. For example, this weekend I am planning to watch Andre Bocelli sing from Milan, the Ten Tenors concert,  watch Tim Minchin perform in Jesus Christ Superstart and that's just for starters. I'm going to run out of time to watch everything.

This book is built around the idea that music can bring us comfort, and strongly connects with our memories to remind us of feelings and emotions, taking us back to the places, times and people we associate that particular piece of music with. I know that I have certain songs and artists that instantly remind me of someone when I hear them, as I am sure others do to.

The story starts with Arie and his partner, Diana, who is a classical concert pianist. They have been together for seven years, and for Arie, he believes it is time to take the next step. Whilst Diana loves Arie, she hasn't quite come to this point herself. Just before she leaves for a performance on the other side of the world she writes a piece of music for Arie in which she expresses her love for him and her hopes for their future together. It is a piece that she will never fully finish.

Along the way, the notebook where she wrote the music is inadvertently left behind and so begins the journey of the song, touching the lives of the people that it comes into contact with, and evolving with each story that it plays a part in, until eventually it finds its way back to Australia and to Arie.

One of the people that hears the music and is touched by it is Evie Greenlees. Evie has been living in the UK for 6 years, working lowly paid jobs and in a series of unsatisfactory relationships whilst trying to be a poet. Eventually she knows that it is time to go home, but where is home when you don't feel a particular attachment to anywhere or even to anyone.

In between the main story, there are a series of interludes which explores different types of love. There is a single father trying to deal with his talented musician daughter Beatrix. They play the song together. Beatrix then plays the song with her Canadian boyfriend and then he plays it with...well, you get the idea. These interludes add to the overall story, rather than detracting from it and the author uses them to great effect to bring the whole book to a very satisfying ending.

Minnie Dark has the marvellous ability to infuse her words with beauty and depth while still keeping them feeling light. There are some dark themes here but it was actually the perfect book to be reading right now as there was also humour and emotion. There were several passages that I found myself rereading just for the sheer pleasure of it. When I closed the book for the final time it was with a deep sigh and the only word I could think of was delightful

I hadn't read Minnie Darke before. I will now be keeping an eye out for her first novel, Star-Crossed which has a lot of good reviews too, and to see what she comes out with.. This book was one of the last books I borrowed from the library before it closed. Star-Crossed may well be one of the first I pick up when it reopens.

To get just a small taste of the book take a look at the Bookish Quote I recently shared.

If you are looking for a book that will hit all the right emotional spots with humour and grace, have a look at this book. It is ..... delightful.

The Lost Love Song was my first 5/5 read this year. A couple of others have come close, but this one is the first to achieve that grade.

Goodreads description
This is the story of a love song . . . And like any good love song, it has two parts.
In Australia, Arie Johnson waits impatiently for classical pianist Diana Clare to return from a world tour, hopeful that after seven years together she'll finally agree to marry him.
On her travels, Diana composes a song for Arie. It's the perfect way to express her love, knowing they'll spend their lives together . . . Won't they?
Then late one night, her love song is overheard, and begins its own journey across the world.
In Scotland, Evie Greenlees is drifting. It's been years since she left Australia with a backpack, a one-way ticket and a dream of becoming a poet. Now she spends her days making coffee and her nights serving beer. And she's not even sure whether the guy she lives with is really her boyfriend or just a flatmate.
Then one day she hears an exquisite love song. One that will connect her to a man with a broken heart . . .


  1. I like modern love songs and current hits. But I don't want to subscribe to Amazon's Music Unlimited. On the other hand, on Amazon Prime you can request any songs out of thousands and Siri will play for you. I missed Boccelli but saw it on youtube or the web.

    1. l tend to use Spotify but I think I have access to some Amazon music options.