About the Book
When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman’s portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.
The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?
Fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women’s independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era–and now.
In My Opinion
Joanna Davidson Politano’s books have always held a lyrical quality, so it is fitting that she writes about music in The Lost Melody. What was surprising it that most of this book takes place in an insane asylum.
Politano had me guessing as to which characters had a stable mental health. There is some gaslighting happening within the walls of Hurstwell, but it goes much deeper than first meets the eye. Throughout the book Vivienne Mourdant (aka Cora Fletcher) is a light in the darkness. Even when she doubts her own truth, she uplifts the others around her. Despite her initial resistance to visit the asylum, her natural compassion draws her heart to the patients (and a particular doctor), which in turn draws them to her.
This is a book with an intriguing suspense (one with an ending that took me by surprise), a picture of what life in a late 1800s English asylum looked like, a touch of romance, and a plot filled with enough hope to captivate me until the end. The Lost Melody just might be my favorite book by Politano to date (although it is difficult to choose a favorite).
Disclosure statement: I receive complimentary books from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.