Welcome to my stop on the book tour for Songs for Your Mother by Gordon MacMillan!
I’m greeted by the strangest sight. A small dark-haired boy is standing there. It’s like he’s a human parcel, delivered to my front door. ‘My name is Luke,’ he says.
When Johnny meets Lauren in a bar in Santa Cruz, there’s an instant connection. On an American road trip with best friend Will, Johnny promises to return to the girl who has stolen his heart.
Until tragedy strikes, forcing Johnny to fly back home without ever seeing Lauren again.
Six years later, Johnny is living his life in London, even if he’s never forgotten the girl with the grey eyes and dark hair.
Until one September morning, he opens his door to find a little boy standing there – a child, Johnny quickly comes to learn, who was created that one magical night. Lauren is dying, and her last wish is to reunite five-year-old Luke with the father he doesn’t yet know.
Thrown into unexpected parenthood, Johnny finds himself navigating school-gate politics, Disney movies and tantrums, guided by the notes Lauren has written for him.
Life as an instant dad isn’t always easy, but as Johnny and Luke open their hearts to each other, Johnny is about to discover that life’s joy isn’t always where you expected it.
An emotional, feel-good read that will have you laughing while you wipe away a tear – readers of Dani Atkins, Mike Gayle and Jojo Moyes will be captivated.
Gordon Macmillan is a debut novelist and former journalist who now works for Twitter in London.
Author Link: Twitter
Songs for Your Mother is a fantastic tale about how a single moment can last forever. Although there is a lot of heartbreak and emotion in this novel, it is incredibly heartwarming and leaves the reader with the satisfaction that they read a feel good book.
While on a road trip through the United States, Johnny meets Lauren in Santa Cruz, California. The two of them have an instant connection where they want to explore a relationship with each other. Unfortunately, events occur to pull Johnny away and back to the UK. Although he is not with Lauren, he never forgot their time together. Normally, I am not the greatest fan of two characters falling almost instantly in love with each other in less than a day, but the author wrote the bond between the two characters in a very believable away that it did not bother me at all.
Six years after their night together, a young boy, Luke, shows up on Johnny’s doorstep. Lauren’s dying wish is for Luke to know his father, so Johnny becomes an insta-dad and must now figure out how to be a parent. The two characters are thrown together to make the best of the awkwardness that would come when you did not know about the other for six years, but they do share their love of Lauren. As expected, Johnny faces many obstacles about how to be a father and Luke is working his way to bonding with Johnny as a father.
Luckily, Johnny is not alone as he has his friends and family that serve as an excellent support system. The entire story is all about Johnny’s journey with many emotions along the way. The character in this story were very well written and I loved the two of them getting to know each other. The use of songwriting in this story was incorporated well and gave an extra layer to the novel.
Even though the novel does tug at the heartstrings, it still is a fairly light read and I breezed through it relatively fast as I wanted to keep reading. There is a nice mix of happiness, humor, and sadness, so the novel does not fully lean one way or the other as a whole, although the ending was emotional. The chapters go between different points in time, but it still flows as a whole. It is an excellent story about what could have been as Johnny reflects on the missed years with Lauren.
Overall, this story was very sweet. It can feel a bit slow at times, which can be a little frustrating. On the other hand, though, I can see why it could be conscious choice as it could be a reflection of the characters’ emotions. After Luke comes into Johnny’s life, he now reflects on the path not traveled. This was a nice well-written novel that is perfect for those who want a faster read, but one that will affect your emotions.
**I give a special thank you to Rachel @rararesources, the author, Gordon MacMillon, and the publisher, Hera Books for the opportunity to participate with this excellent and heartwarming novel. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
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