Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jane's Melody by Ryan Winfield

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What boundaries would you cross for true love?

That's the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in a young street musician she believes can shed light on her daughter's death—only to find herself falling for him. A sexy but touching love story that will leave you both tantalized and in tears, Jane's Melody follows a forty-year-old woman on a romantic journey of rediscovery after years of struggling alone.

Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest pain. And now Jane must decide if it's too late for her to start over, or if true love really knows no limits.

Jane’s Melody is a surprisingly thoughtful and pleasant read despite the circumstances that start the events rolling. I must admit that even I wondered why I was taking on this book. I mean did I really need to drown myself in sorrow? Well I guess I did because I’m a glutton for punishment and I was bombarded by images of this book online. There you go – adverts on Facebook work!

Back to the story … Jane is desperate to find out more about Melody, the daughter she lost touch with because of Melody’s drug addiction. She’s clutching at straws when she invites a complete stranger into her household in the hopes of finding answers.  It’s a rough start. At first glance, it may look like Jane turned her back on her only child. But because of her own experience with living through her father's alcoholism and through attending AA meetings over the years, she has learned the hard fact that no addict can be saved until they admit they want and need the help. Winfield gently addresses the fallout of addiction from the point of view of the people who are affected by it. With that he gives Jane a sympathetic and objective perspective on Melody’s troubles.

Caleb is the guy she believes will help her get to know the real Melody. The whole circumstance of how she takes him into her household is a bit weird for me but I went with it. The relationship that develops is sweet.  He’s mum about himself but so very kind that she is drawn to his easy-going personality. He genuinely becomes a good friend to her and for once she starts to relax a bit. When their mutual attraction becomes undeniable, things really heat up. There’s plenty of magic time in this book but they’re described so beautifully. Jane’s hesitation to jump into a relationship with a younger man, and someone who she believes was close to Melody are understandable. But so is her attraction to Caleb. And oh my god when Caleb comes clean to her about his feelings I swear I myself became undone. There’s a very delicate scene involving repainting a room that was so touching that I shed a quiet tear or two. It’s impossible to not be affected by that significant moment.

Jane’s Melody isn’t just about a mother trying to connect the dots about her mysterious daughter. It’s about her own self-discovery and emancipation from the familial crap that’s held her back all her life. It’s about great friendships where the best of friends don’t judge but support each other and come through when most needed.  It’s also about a curmudgeonly old neighbor and a goat. You weren’t expecting that one were you? Neither was I and it provided for some hilarious moments!

Please don’t be fooled. Jane’s Melody may sound like a downer but it is most definitely not. Embracing change, moving on and declaring love are all handled with such care. If you’re in the mood for a sweet romance where the heroine figures out her own happily ever after, then I highly recommend this. And I’ll be reading more by Ryan Winfield in the near future!

~ Bel

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