Book Review

Book Review: The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ ☆
Audience: Historical Fiction + Romance
Length: 444 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: March 16th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the bestselling author of What the Wind Knows and From Sand and Ash comes a powerful love story about a musical duo who put everything on the line to be together.

New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.

Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.

It would be easier to walk away. But the music and the woman are too hard for the piano man to resist. Benny’s songs and Esther’s vocals are an explosive combination, a sound that fans can’t get enough of. But though America might love the music they make together, some people aren’t ready for Benny Lament and Esther Mine on—or off—the stage.

A BEAUTIFUL STORY.

Seriously. Here I am again singing the praises of Amy Harmon’s writing. It’s beautiful and captivating. Emotional and always hopeful. Wow did I love this book (like I love all of her books, favorite author alert).

I can’t say enough about the audio version of this too. The narrator brings Benny TO LIFE. It was so smooth and enriching. If you get a chance to listen to this (available on KU) highly recommend!

The storytelling here left me speechless. I felt so many emotions reading this. And the way that music played such a deep role for both Benny and Esther made me wish that this was a movie. Esther and Benny had immediate chemistry and the BEST banter. It all felt so natural and Benny’s passion for Esther had me swooning.

Add in a fantastic side cast and this book soared even higher. I loved Pop and Esther’s brothers. I found in them a well rounded story. Filling all angles and opinions needed to fit this book. I just love what this LOVE story showcased and how it all enfused a sense of hope for a better tomorrow.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction + romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses & a mostly closed door scene
  • Violence: gun violence, physical altercations, murder, poisoning
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, micro-aggressions, segregation, murder of loved ones

Instagram || Goodreads

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