Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: Songs of Willow Frost

Pages: 319
Genre: Adult, Historical, Realistic
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 3 stars

Book Description: On an outing to Seattle's Moore Theatre, William Eng, a Chinese-American orphan, sees a movie featuring an actress who goes by the name of Willow Frost. William is convinced that Willow is his mother, Liu Song, whom he has not seen since a doctor carried her nearly unconscious body out of their apartment years ago. Determined to find Willow. William searches throughout Depression-era Seattle, where he must confront the mysteries of his past. The story of Willow, however, is far more complicated then the Hollywood fantasy William sees on screen.

My Review: Received this book from goodreads' First Reads.

Sad book overall with a glimmer of hope. In Songs of Willow Frost the reader gets to know Willow's story. It begins with William Eng who believes that Willow Frost is his mother. He eventually goes in search of her along with his friend Charlotte. I was a lot more interested in William and Charlotte than I was in getting to know Willow.

Willow's character was well-developed as was her story. She has a hard life and William is the one good constant in her life. She is very much a loving, sacrificing mother. The story alternates in time. The time fram goes from 1921 to 1934 (not in chronological order). Life was tough for everyone, but maybe tougher for minorities because of tradition, societal standards and laws of the time. I didn't like the sad, unfair, unjust experiences Willow had to endure. However, I did come to like her, want to know her so I read on. I wanted her to succeed, be happy.

The same goes for William and Charlotte. They had some happiness and freedom away from Sacred Heart. William is a good hearted person, so he was likable. I really liked Charlotte though. She is wise and sees more than most despite her blindness. The author really broke my heart when it came to her and William's.

Jamie Ford wrote in his author's note of this book "...I realized that beautiful melancholy will always be my writing partner, and that I will make a living by breaking my own heart on a regular basis." If you like this kind of writing in a book then Songs of Willow Frost is for you.


  1. I have been waiting for this one for awhile. Now that it is out, I haven't made the time to read it. :( I know that there are readers that don't like a lot of emotional movement in a story, but I love a book that can make me feel something and I am crazy for a tragedy. I guess I get all my drama in my books, since I stay clear from it in real life.
    Thank you for your review.
    -Dilettantish Reader

    1. Glad you got something from the review.