The Song Journey

September 14, 2015
Votes: 3
Audience Adult
Word Count 140-160k (long)

Editing, Production, Marketing & Sales

Edited by Ian Wishart
Cover design by Ian Wishart
Formatted by Bozidar Jokanovic
Distributed by Amazon
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars

The Rundown

The Song Journey is a beautiful and intriguing story of time travel, love, loss and family, with an invigorating backdrop of social history and music. Singer Julia MacAllistair receives a unique gift from her great-grandmother Etty before she dies. Five sheets of music which are able to transport her back in time. The magic starts when Julia begins to sing the first piece and is immediately transported back to 1906 Chicago. Each piece of music is able to transport Julia back to a time when the song had meaning. For instance, when she begins to sing Bob Dylan’s ‘A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall’ she wakes up in war torn Vietnam, singing for the troops. She also visits 1940’s New Zealand, and America just before the Civil War. When she is living in each time zone, she has no idea how or when she will return home. There always seems to be a reason she is there, or a person she is supposed to meet, including family members. During these visits, Julia becomes intricately involved in the lives of the people she meets, which leads her to constantly fear she is altering history. As the music takes her away to a different time and place, each adventure is unique, yet her journey inspires her to ask questions about her own family, their past and her future. Are there lessons to be learnt from the people she meets, and in particular, her Great Grandmother Etty?

As Julia moves through time, she experiences love, death, war and intolerance. When back in her own time, sometimes years pass before she feels able to open the box and sing the next piece of music. During this time, Julia has her own life to live and problems to solve.  With so much going on in terms of story and content, it would be easy for things to get confusing, but the author does a wonderfully gentle job of weaving the timelines and experiences across the length of the novel. Everything flows so effortlessly from one situation and realisation to the next, that the reader feels rather like they are part of it all, listening to beautiful, evocative music and riding on the waves as the story unfolds. There were a few places where the story felt a little slow to me, but I cared enough about Julia and the other characters, to want to keep on reading. I felt terribly involved in her own life decisions and revelations as well as those of the people she meets on her travels. A really fascinating and uniquely told story, with a wonderfully strong narrative voice and characters to remember. Readers who enjoy romance, adventure and historical novels will enjoy this book immensely.


The Recommendation

The Song Journey is a beautiful and intriguing story of time travel, love, loss and family, with an invigorating backdrop of social history and music. Singer Julia MacAllistair receives a unique gift from her great-grandmother Etty before she dies. Five sheets of music which are able to transport her back in time. Five adventures await her, where she will meet members of her own family, and face danger in war torn Vietnam, as well as true love in 1940’s New Zealand. A beautifully evocative and visual book about the power of music, with a wonderfully strong narrative voice and characters to remember. Readers who enjoy romance, adventure and historical novels will enjoy this book immensely. 


The Rating Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars

4 Stars (out of 5): Recommended. For the right audience, this book is a great read. It can hold its own against any traditionally published novel in its genre.

The Pros & Cons

Pros: Characterization, Dialogue, Emotional, Plot, Prose
Cons: Slow in Places

The Reviewer

Chantelle Atkins

Chantelle Atkins is a mother of four from Dorset, England. She is addicted to both music and books and is currently on a mission to become as self-sufficient as possible. She has self-published four novels and has just released her first short story collection. She writes for both the YA and adult genres. When she’s not writing books, she’s busy running her writing business Chasing Driftwood, which delivers creative writing clubs and workshops to local children and adults. She also writes regular articles about writing for Author’s Publish magazine, as well as short pieces for a local parenting magazine.

 

Visit Chantelle Atkins‘s website.

Author’s Summary

The Song Journey is the story of the young singer, Julia MacAllistair, who, after inheriting a box of sheet music from her famous great-grandmother, finds herself on an unexpected journey into the past.  Julia’s travels take her into places as varied as turn-of-the-Century Chicago to the canopied jungles of the Vietnam War and even as far as the steep Southern Alps of the young island nation of New Zealand.  As each piece of music propels Julia into a different time and place, Julia must determine the purpose of her journey and how to return to her present-day life.  Along the way, she meets some extraordinary people who teach her about love, loss, and the role of the artist in modern society.  As Julia discovers, it is not only a physical journey, but a journey of the self.

Short Description

Julia MacAllistair, a young singer, had always believed in the power of music. But she never imagined that music could literally take her places–that is until she played the music in the box. Will Julia ever see her home again? Can she return from her Song Journey?

Catchphrase

Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory. Shelley

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