The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano
Historical Fiction | Christian Fiction
The Lost Melody is a gothic, haunting read had me absolutely captivated from the first paragraph. With its beautiful writing, anxiety-inducing plot twists, and Christian faith-based themes, I’m predicting a Christy nomination for this one!
“One day in late May of the year 1886, I found myself imprisoned in the Hurstwell Pauper Lunatic Asylum. This was unconscionable — I had never been a pauper.”
The setting of The Lost Melody takes place, almost entirely, within a Victorian-era asylum. This makes for an eerie, riveting read where nothing can truly be taken at face value. While this was a haunting setting and had some very heavy scenes, it felt accurate to what little I know about asylums during the 19th century. Many secondary characters were locked up with heartbreaking stories such as postpartum depression, moral failure, overwork, or misunderstanding — and I really, truly felt for them and their situations.
One of the main themes throughout the novel was “light piercing the darkness” and in this, the main character Vivienne fairly sparkled across the page. The plot has very strong Christian faith elements that have been seamlessly woven into the story. Vivienne’s faith-driven responses and conversations with those around her was inspiring as she explored topics such a hope despite present circumstances and the value of human beings created in the image of God. In such a heavy and dark setting, there was a lot of light too.
Constantly second-guessing everything and everyone kept me on edge while reading, and I loved this sense of heightened suspense. This novel isn’t an easy read, given the topic, but it is a beautiful piece of historical fiction that I highly recommend.
Readers who appreciate heavier Christian fiction
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Book provided courtesy of Graf-Martin Communications and Baker Publishing Group. All opinions expressed are my own.
About the book:
(About the Book:) When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman’s portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.
The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?
Fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women’s independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era–and now.