Monday 12 July 2021

BLOG TOUR: Songs in Ursa Major - Emma Brodie

Behind every greatest hit, is an even greater love story.


From the moment Jane Quinn steps barefoot onto the main stage at Island Folk festival, her golden hair glinting, her voice soaring into the summer dusk, a star is born – and so is a passionate love story.

Jane’s band hits the road with none other than Jesse Reid, the musician whose bright blue eyes are setting hearts alight everywhere. And as the summer streaks by in a haze of crowds, wild nights and magenta sunsets, Jane is pulled into the orbit of Jesse’s star.
But Jesse’s rise could mean Jane’s fall. And when she discovers a dark secret beneath his music, she picks up her guitar and writes her heartache into the album that could make or break her: Songs in Ursa Major.

Set against the heady haze of the 70s and alive with music, sex and sun-soaked hedonism, SONGS IN URSA MAJOR is an unforgettable debut and the soundtrack to a love story like no other.

What did I think?

Wow!  What a debut!  I simply couldn't put it down.  I loved Songs in Ursa Major from the start and not just because it starts in the Summer, the Summer of '69 - oh yeah!  (I just had to get a bit of Bryan Adams in there).  Partly inspired by the life of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor, Songs in Ursa Major is set in the cutthroat music industry and filled with drama and beautiful music.  It actually reminded me a little of the tv show Nashville, although Jane Quinn is a LOT nicer than Juliette Barnes, and it really is the perfect cure for fans of the show who are suffering from a Nashville hangover.

I adored the main character of Jane Quinn and enjoyed reading about her warm and loving family along with an intriguing mystery about her mother's whereabouts.  Jane has such amazing natural talent but the music industry is definitely a man's world in the 60s and 70s.  Jane is thrust into the limelight by a twist of fate that results in her band going on tour with huge folk star Jesse Reid.  It feels like Jane and Jesse are made for each other as the pair get closer but Jane has a difficult decision to make as becoming Jesse's girlfriend will eclipse her musical career.  

Emma Brodie's writing feels incredibly authentic as the music industry is laid bare, warts and all.  There are tantrums and power struggles as well as some beautiful songwriting.  The whole book virtually vibrates to the beat of the incredible music within and I found myself composing my own melodies in my mind to match the wonderful lyrics.  Being both visual and audible is something I've never experienced in a book before, showing what an amazing writing talent Emma Brodie has.

An absolutely stunning debut, Songs in Ursa Major is a compelling and entertaining novel.  I felt rather emotional at the end but I know it's not the last I'll see of Jane Quinn as I plan to read Songs in Ursa Major again.  Songs in Ursa Major is definitely the soundtrack to my Summer of '21.  Highly recommended to all readers and one not to be missed by music fans.

I received an ARC to read and review for the blog tour; this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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