Book Review: “Songs of Willow Frost” by Jamie Ford.

songs of willow frost
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Pages: 352
Genre: Fiction, Historical
Format: Chapters; Time split between 1920’s and 1930’s

Find It: Amazon  /  Goodreads  /  Author Website

First Line: “William Eng woke to the sound of a snapping leather belt and the shrieking of rusty springs that supported the threadbare mattress of his army surplus bed.”

Description from Book: On an outing to Seattle’s Moore Theatre, William Eng, a Chinese American orphan, sees a movie featuring an actress who goes by the name of Willow Frost. William is convinced that Willow is his mother, Liu Song, whom he has not seen since a doctor carried her nearly unconscious body out of their apartment years ago. Determined to find Willow, William searches throughout Depression-era Seattle, where he must confront the mysteries of his past. The story of Willow, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees on-screen.

Topics Covered: family relationships, secrets, haunted pasts, family dynamics, self-discovery, history, abusive relationships, family legacies, orphans, childhood

My Review: Watch out, New York Times Bestsellers List! Is it possible to truly be in love with a book, the storyline, and the characters all at once? If so, “Songs of Willow Frost” takes this place in my heart. Signed, sealed, delivered… I’m yours.

“Songs of Willow Frost” is the story of an orphan, William, who is desperately in search of his ah-ma (mother). Left to an orphanage at a young age, William holds out hope that he will one day be reconnected with the woman he called home. During a community venture one day, William comes across a singer/actress named Willow Frost and thus begins their path together, and apart, on a journey to unveil secrets, heartache, and self-discovery.

The secondary characters in the novel, such as William’s best friend at the orphanage, Charlotte, aren’t simply placed to support the main characters. Their individual story lines and characteristics not only add to William and Willow’s journey, but they challenge them emotionally and personally, teaching life lessons along the way.

The story comes together at the end, shedding light on the beautiful relationship between Willow and William that unfolds throughout the chapters. After the last sentence, I felt fulfilled yet desperate for more about the characters, all the while feeling emotionally moved by the amazing trek these characters take.

[Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from Goodreads to review. My review of the book is in no way swayed or altered from my true feelings due to this association. I was not endorsed for this review.]

Overall Rating: 5/5

“We don’t get to choose our parents,” Sunny said.
“If we did, some of us might choose never to be born at all.”

3 responses to “Book Review: “Songs of Willow Frost” by Jamie Ford.

  1. Sounds like a really beautiful book and so glad you loved it so much. I read his Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet when it came out and wasn’t as enamored as others. I’ll have to give this one a shot though–especially love the time period!

  2. This sounds like a great book! Lately I’ve really enjoyed books with a dual narrative and I think it’s particularly appealing that this novel covers two time periods that sound like they’ll be pretty intimately connected.

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