All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

on March 13, 2020

The Lost Love Song 
Minnie Darke
Penguin Random House AUS
2020, 368p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

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 . . .

Oh my gosh, this book….my heart. It was so amazing.

It’s told in such a unique way. Arie, an IT professional, meets Diana, a concert pianist and they fall into a wonderful relationship. Sometime into their future, Arie wants to marry Diana, who seems somewhat hesitant. When she goes abroad on tour, she writes him the most wonderful love song as an expression of her feelings for him and the future she wants to build. Inadvertently she leaves her notebook behind where someone else picks it up and discovers the scrawled notes of the song. The man uses it as a way to settle some of the discord between him and a family member and from there on, the song flows out into the world. Slowly…..slowly……the song finds its way, changing the lives of many who hear it in lots of different ways.

Including Arie’s.

I found myself drawn into this story from the very beginning and it’s the sort of story that has you running through the full spectrum of emotions. There’s sadness, grief and loss (which are explored realistically but also sensitively, with the emphasis on there being no real magic cure, just time and waking up each day and going though the motions) but also a lot of joy and hope and love as all the separate parts form the whole. As well as the main story that mostly revolves around Arie and Evie, who begin on separate sides of the globe, there are several “side stories” that seem unrelated but then all weave together and end up forming a hugely important part of the main story. It is all done so seamlessly. I did not want to put this book down, it’s the sort of story that just sucks you in and builds and builds on its remarkable premise and you just have to keep reading for all the unexpected connections and the way the song travels across the globe in this kind of anonymous way, the people hearing it all making their own adjustments and remembering bits and pieces in different ways until it takes on multiple life forms.

Music is something that links a lot of people together, sometimes intentionally but other times not so. We all have songs that ‘mean’ something to us, that drag us back to a place and time from the past when we hear them, or make us feel a certain way. There are lots of people who will connect with this story through its love of and homage to music. Diana as a concert pianist, was a gifted musician and most of the other characters play an instrument, be it just casually or as a large part of their lives. Arie doesn’t play but he has developed his knowledge of music through his relationship with Diana and still chooses favourites that suit a ‘mood’ be it something soft and calming to do a difficult task or something upbeat for distraction. I think a lot of people use music in a mood-related way, whether it’s to boost your mood when you feel down, help you ramp up productivity or maybe even use it to wallow. I know I do and I appreciated and enjoyed how much music was a part of the narrative, pinning it all together, creating those connections between characters and shaping the paths their lives took.

I really enjoyed this. I just found it to be a really beautiful story, one of the ones that for some reason, takes hold of you and sticks in your mind. I really loved the way the author chose to tell the story, the jumping around and introduction of new characters really worked for me actually when sometimes I feel it wouldn’t have. There was something about the way it was done where it added to the overall story, not detracted. I haven’t read Minnie Darke’s other book, Star Crossed but this was so good that I think I am going to have to now.


Book #40 of 2020

The Lost Love Song is book #17 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2020

4 responses to “Review: The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

  1. Yes! Right?! You definitely should read Star-crossed. Just as good and just as clever!

  2. Marg says:

    Just added this to my library request list

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