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Greatest Hits

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LoveReading Says

LoveReading Says

A powerfully lyrical day-in-the-life portrait of a successful singer-songwriter reflecting on the ebbs and flows of her life as she prepares her Greatest Hits release after long absence from the industry. Cass Wheeler has been a massive music star since the seventies, but withdrew from public life following personal tragedy. She’s now back in the studio to select songs for a profoundly personal compilation album. Each song she selects unleashes a swelling wave of memories, and so her life is laid bare, from childhood abandonment, to teen rebellion, and finding love and freedom with her bohemian aunt and uncle. And then comes the highs and lows of her music career, marriage and motherhood. At one point Cass is criticised for “her solipsism, her accursed tendency to look inside herself, rather than outwards to the world”, but it’s this tendency that underpins both the appeal of her songs, and that of the novel itself. The sentences hover and drift, for this is the nature of memory; this is how Cass’s restless mind reflects on the life she’s lived – successes, regrets, mistakes, and all – while she tries to make peace with herself, and to renew her life. The music culture of the seventies and eighties – the thrills, freedom, hedonism, and sexism - is vividly evoked, and the novel resounds with a mesmerising melody that is at once meditative and intense. ~ Joanne Owen

In what is quite possibly a first the author Laura Barnett and folk singer song writer and mercury prize nominee Kathryn Williams have jointly written the lyrics to a new 16-song album.  Each of the novel's chapters begins with the words from a track on the album, 'Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits'. Click here to find out more and to find out how you can buy a copy of 'Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits'.

A message from Laura Barnett:

'With my second novel, I really wanted to do something different by bringing music and fiction together... I was excited about expanding the reading experience beyond the page, and of bringing my character and her musical output to life.'

July 2017 Book of the Month.

Joanne Owen

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