Author: Minnie Darke
Publisher: Penguin Random House
First Published: 03 March 2020
“’I don’t think you’re meant to believe that it really does end there,’ she’d told him. ‘I think you’re meant to believe that it goes on and on, forever and ever.’”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank so much to Ruth Richardson and the team over at Transworld Publishers and NetGalley for sending a copy my way!
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.
I adore Minnie Darke’s first novel, Star-Crossed, when I read it last year. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her next book, regardless of what it was about. And then I found out this book was going to feature music, which is one of my all-time favourite elements to feature in the book, the release date couldn’t come soon enough. If it’s possible, I think I love The Lost Love Song even more. Honestly, I was no expecting the emotional punch of this book. I was already sobbing at least 60 pages in.
This novel is a fantastic exploration of love and loss. Talented pianist, Diana finally plans to marry her long-term partner, Ari and she’s going to tell him when she returns from her world tour. While away, she composes a love song for him. As the song, starts it’s own journey and stops in at Edinburgh we meet Evie, a poet, who’s been drifting from place to place for so long that she’s forgotten her dreams and longs for a place to call home.
Evie is in a rut. She spent the last year living a nomadic life, but she’s lost sight of what she wanted to do, write and publish poetry. When she hears Diana’s love song, Evie remembers her goals. I adore Evie. She is one of my bravest characters I’ve ever read. I wish I had the guts to move overseas and see where life takes you. She reminds us that it can be easy to lose sight of your creative goals once you settle into a routine.
Ari is awkward, nerdy, a total sweetheart and he’s also stuck in a rut. He met Diana at university when he helped set up her computer. My heart went out to him when he assumed that Diana dropped into his office so he can fix her computer problems. It never crossed his mind that she was would ask him on a date.
Diana’s love song becomes a character of its own, which is one of my favourite elements of Minnie Darke’s writing. I love how we get a glimpse of the lives of the people who overhear the track as it journeys from Singapore to Europe, America and finally home to Ari in Australia. Having the song as a character highlights the universal nature of music. Also reminds me of just own connected people are, even if oceans separate them.
Much like Star-Crossed, Darke’s writing has an omniscience nature to her writing, as we branch into the lives of the side characters. In these interludes, we get to see into their lives before and after they stumble across Diana’s song. I did adore seeing the blossoming relationship between flautist Bextrix and cellist, Felix. It goes to show how music belongs to the listener just as much as it belongs to the composer.
I think I can officially say that Minnie Darke is on my auto-buy author list. I will read anything she writes, even if the next book focuses on math! This is a wonderful novel, which highlights how some songs will be forever linked with those special people in your life long after they have left your life. This novel left me feeling like I had received the biggest hug. I will reread The Lost Love Song whenever I need a little pick me up.