Sometimes, I read the back of the book, think I know what kind of book I am about to read, but THEN, I read the first sentence, and I'm like WHOA. Now I know exactly what kind of book I've got in my hands. That was this book. The summary is straightforward enough:
1937. In a windswept village on the Dorset coast, fourteen-year-old Mitzy Hatcher has endured a wild and lonely upbringing. But the arrival of renowned artist Charles Aubrey, along with his exotic mistress and their two daughters, changes everything. Over the course of three summers, Mitzy develops a deep and abiding bond with the Aubrey household, gradually becoming Charles’s muse. Slowly, she begins to perceive a future she had never thought possible—and a powerful love is kindled in her. A love that will grow as she does: from innocence to obsession; from childish infatuation to something far more dangerous.
Years later, a young man in an art gallery happens upon a hastily drawn portrait and is intrigued by its curious intensity. The questions he asks lead him to the seaside village—and to the truth about those fevered summers of long ago.
But then the first sentence hits you like a ton of bricks. The language was winding and lyrical and moving. I knew that I was in for a book to savor, not one that would fly by and was driven by the fast clip of events, but one that wove a beautiful tapestry with its words.
Although Webb describes the people and places vividly and uses a great detail, the book is not slow and stagnant. Her style allows for well-developed and unforgettable characters, and while the initial set-up of a biographer seeking more information and finding a window into the past is a rather straight-forward one, it suits this story and frames the storylines nicely.
A Half Forgotten Song is one you could enjoy on the beach or stay up late savoring in bed.
If you'd like to catch up with the author, you can find her on facebook and Twitter.
I was provided a copy of this book by TLC Book Tours but was not compensated for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.