Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Songs of Willow Frost - Book Review

I've been anxious to read Jamie Ford's next book since I read and enjoyed his debut novel The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet a few years ago. You can read my review of that book *here*. His newest novel Songs of Willow Frost was FINALLY (I'm not always very patient) published in September this year.

William Eng, a 12 year old Chinese American boy has lived at the Sacred Heart Orphanage for five years since the night he watched his unresponsive mother taken away from his apartment. He hasn't heard from her since and has assumed that she died until he sees a movie featuring the actress Willow Frost and becomes convinced that she is his mother. Determined to meet her, William runs away from the orphanage and attempts to track down the famous actress and his own story.

In Songs of Willow Frost, Jamie Ford weaves a tender and painful story set in Depression-era Seattle. Weeping Willow, as the actress is known for her ability to cry real tears on screen, holds a life-time of bitter memories and a heart-breaking love for the boy she has lost. Both William and Willow are sympathetic characters. They are both victims of circumstances and evil people who would take advantage of them. They have a lack of choices but seek to better their situations and maintain a will to live and love.

While the story is stirring and should be emotionally charged, the writing is at times passionless. Scenes between Willow Frost and the man she falls in love with are bland and there is little to move the reader to root for their relationship or to feel Willow's pain in it's loss. Perhaps this is intentional to the meaning of the story.

Overall, I enjoyed Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford. It is an engaging story of love, loss, repentance and forgiveness.

Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford was published by Ballantine Books in September 2013.

**I received a complimentary copy of Songs of Willow Frost in exchange for my honest review. No additional compensation was received.**

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