Dani Atkins may not be the world’s most famous author but her third novel, Our Song, looks poised to change that. This emotional, family drama is a slow-burning and nuanced tale that looks at fate, friendship, love and other dilemmas. It’s a poignant tale that will give you cause to sit back and reflect and this will happen long after you’ve finished the book’s final words.
The story is about two women and former friends who are suddenly hit by individual tragedies. Ally is the mother of a gorgeous, seven year old boy named Jake and wife to the kind-hearted and sweet, Joe. The latter finds himself in a sticky situation early on. Joe discovered a young boy in distress who had fallen into a frozen lake while attempting to save the family pet. Joe is an admirable man and he saves the kid and the dog but he also falls into the frozen water himself and is rushed off to intensive care.
David is Ally’s old flame and a jet-setting, rich man who is now married to the equally ambitious, Charlotte. The former is about to surprise his wife with a surprise trip to New York but he is struck down with a mysterious illness in a department store. David winds up at the same hospital as Joe and the doctors soon discover that David has a very serious heart condition.
Our Song has a great premise- it throws two strong women in the same waiting room as their husbands are in intensive care, lying in limbo with different ailments. Atkins has done an excellent job with the characterisation and telling of the story. She expertly weaves together flashbacks and scenes in the present day, which cover Ally and David’s courtship and break-up as well as when David and Charlotte get together and when Ally meets and falls for Joe. The story is a little simplistic at times but it is not lacking in sentiment or feeling. There are also a lot of rich details offered in the prose so the reader gets a good sense of the different individuals, especially when the same scene is retold from the other person’s perspective.
This novel is a well-told, beautiful and moving one but it does have some minor flaws. Part of the plot is predictable (but thankfully there are enough twists thrown into the mix to keep things interesting). The other issue is that sometimes the level of coincidence will require a major suspension of disbelief, which is a shame as the characters themselves feel rather authentic. But despite these small quibbles, the story is a veritable rollercoaster that is jam-packed with different emotions and lots of drama and tension. In sum, it will ultimately tug at your heartstrings and make you stop and realise how important your own loved ones are in the grander scheme of things.
***Please note: a free copy of this book was given to the writer through a Beauty & Lace giveaway. To read the original review on that website please visit: http://bookgirl.beautyandlace.net/book-club-our-song