Rating: 4.5 / 5
I received THE LOST MELODY by Joanna Davidson Politano in my Once Upon a Book Club box. I had heard nothing about this one prior to receiving it, but was excited to dive into this special edition.
THE LOST MELODY follows concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant. After her father dies, she learns that he has had an adult ward that he has been looking after, a woman who is a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. When she sees an image of the woman it stirs faint memories for her. Hurstwell tells Vivienne that the woman was never a patient there in spite of her father’s records and Vivienne wants answers. Her investigation leads her to a lot of dark corners of the asylum and secrets kept.
This was a very interesting historical fiction look at the state of mental asylums in the past, something that definitely is of interest to me. The tone of the book as a whole is very haunting and the author did a good job of building up the atmosphere. This book clearly shows the lack of agency that women had in the past as Vivienne runs into multiple brick walls in her investigation and in her own life.
There were times where the narrative was a bit confusing as I was reading this one, but I think that was intentional. Vivienne is told time and time again that certain things are true and she begins to doubt her own sanity. She isn’t sure who she can trust around her and it keeps a lot of questions in the reader’s mind as well. The author did a fantastic job of integrating music throughout the story as well and showing how music can be used for good in therapy.
This is another book I wouldn’t have picked up without it coming in a subscription box, so I am very glad to have received it! If you are interested in subscribing to any of the Once Upon A Book Club fun boxes, DGREADS10 will give you 10% off your first order!
#The52BooksClub2023 – a book with script font on the spine