Thursday, January 10, 2019

Book Review - SONGS OF WILLOW FROST by Jamie Ford

Title:  Songs of Willow Frost
Author:  Jamie Ford
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Ballentine Books
Release Date:  September 10, 2013

About the Book:


From Jamie Ford, author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.

Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.

Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.

Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.

Buy Links: Amazon 

My Review:

Songs of Willow Frost takes us back and forth in time as memories of Willow's earlier years come to surface. The book is extremely well written and the characters are multi-dimensional, but it is sad. Very, very sad. Downright depressing.

If you enjoy a book that pulls you in, that clings to your emotions, that makes your heart sink and your tears on the edge of your eyelid waiting to brim over, you will enjoy this book. For me, although it was an excellent thought-provoking novel, it was depressing. It left me sad. Mainly because I know these injustices existed during this time period.

Although as a society we still have a long way to go, this book helps us to realize just how far we have come.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Jamie Ford is the great grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from Kaiping, China, to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name "Ford," thus confusing countless generations. 

His debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, spent two years on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to win the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. His work has been translated into 34 languages. Jamie is still holding out for Klingon (that's when you know you've made it).

Visit him at or on Twitter @jamieford.


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