Monday, January 28, 2013

Alice's Review: The Song Remains the Same

Summary: She’s a wife, a sister, a daughter…but she remembers nothing. Now she must ask herself who she is and choose which stories—and storytellers—to trust. One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes up in the hospital with no memory of it, or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas. Although Nell can’t remember all that came before, something just doesn’t sit right with the versions of her history given by her mother, her sister, and her husband.  Desperate for a key to unlock her past, she filters through photos, art, music, and stories, hoping that something will jog her memory, and soon, in tiny bits and pieces, Nell starts remembering. . . .From the New York Times bestselling author of Time of My Life comes a novel that asks: Who are we without our memories? How much of our future is defined by our past?

Review:  When I began reading The Song Remains the Same, it reminded me of the movie The Vow.  Married woman gets amnesia, husband tries to woo her, she puts her life back together.  Similar right?  Actually no.  As Julie reminded me, the similarities end with amnesia.  In the beginning, I kept looking for those nonexistent similarities so much that it blurred my perceptive.  It didn’t help that I didn’t feel any love towards Peter (Nell’s husband), Nell’s mother and sister, or Anderson, the movie star and other plane crash survivor.  Nell, on the other hand, I adored.

With the help of a reporter and her therapist, and with no help from her family, Nell begins to piece her life back together one song at a time.  I love the playlist attached to this novel.  I love music and I thought it was great how Ms. Winn Scotch tied in song titles and lyrics with the each chapter.  It was clever and interesting. 

About halfway through the novel everything changed for me, the feeling of the novel changed.  The change was refreshing and unexpected.  I especially enjoyed the twist at the end.  It was surprising, again unexpected.  Perfect.  I really enjoyed this story.  I liked how during the process of getting her memory back, she learned that as much as she needed help from others, she really relied on herself to figure out who she was and who she could become. 

Unfortunately, there wasn’t any love gained with the supporting characters save for her mother.  Ms. Winn Scotch did her justice explaining why she did what she did.  Although I don’t agree with her actions, I understood the why.  Besides Nell, her mother was my favorite character. 

Something else I hadn’t expected was the emotional connection I felt towards The Song Remains the Same.  This novel was very introspective.  It snuck up on me and made me ask myself questions I’ve been avoiding.  More than once, I asked myself if I were to wake up to the life I was living now, what would I think of it?  What would I want to change?  What would I want to remain the same?  What would I want to remember?  What would I want to permanently forget?  Questions I’m sure I’ll ponder for some time to come.

Overall, this is an excellent novel.  Funny, endearing, startling.  I look forward to reading Allison Winn Scotch in the future.  She has made a fan out of me.

Final Take: 4/5

 Girls Just Reading: Julie's Review: The Song Remains the Same
 Girls Just Reading: Author Interview: Allison Winn Scotch



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