Synopsis from Goodreads:
One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes in the hospital with no memory of the horrific experience-or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind, with the help of family and friends, who have their own agendas. She filters through photos, art, music, and stories, hoping something will jog her memory, and soon, in tiny bits and pieces, Nell starts remembering. . . .
It isn’t long before she learns to question the stories presented by her mother, her sister and business partner, and her husband. In the end, she will discover that forgiving betrayals small and large will be the only true path to healing herself-and to finding happiness.
Review: I am quite a fan of Allison Winn Scotch. When I cracked open her first book, The Department of Lost and Found, I was instantly hooked. Not just on the story, but of Winn Scotch as a writer. When I saw that her latest novel, The Song Remains the Same, was going to be touring through TLC Book Tours, I jumped at the chance to review the book.
When I read the Goodreads synopsis of this book, I was very intrigued by the plot. I personally find amnesia to be rather fascinating and heartbreaking. As I began to read this book, I really felt Nell’s confusion and distress for the situation she was in. If she had retained her memory after surviving the plane crash, perhaps survivor’s guilt would have plagued her. But Nell’s primary issue was not knowing something that is so intrinsic to who we are as people: our past. Who we are as individuals is rooted in our past experiences, our memories (both good and bad), and our ability to know who is worthy of our trust. Trust was a secondary issue that Nell had. Certainly, she could understand that these people were her family, but the trust that comes with those relationships wasn’t there for her, especially after she begins to discover she has been told half truths and full out lies. Nell’s struggle completely yanked at my sympathy strings and made me wonder how I would handle being in her situation.
As the novel progressed and more focus was placed on Nell and her relationship with her father, I felt a little removed from the story. Where I had been so invested in Nell and her recovery and how she was trying to piece her identity back together, or form a new identity in the face of having lost her identity, my investment wavered a bit as the plot took on a new course. I don’t want to give the impression that I didn’t enjoy this portion of the story, I did. But I liked it less than I did other aspects of the novel.
One thing that is true throughout Allison Winn Scotch’s novels is that she crafts characters that are real. By real I mean I could imagine myself sitting down and having coffee with Nell. Winn Scotch brings to life characters that are dynamic and amazing, maddening and frustrating, flawed and oh so human. She crafts characters skillfully and it is one of the most endearing things, to me, about her writing.
She is also able to weave complicated plot lines that don’t stray into the melodramatic or sappy. Even though her characters, like Nell, may find themselves in unbelievable circumstances, those circumstances are made accessible and crafted with delicate details that draw me into the story and keep me reading, even if I am not in love with the direction of the plot at that moment.
I very much enjoyed The Song Remains the Same. It is not my favorite novel of Allison Winn Scotch’s, but it was definitely a great read. I would recommend any of her works, without question.