Author: Dani Atkins
Our Song is the third novel by Dani Atkins and the first I have read. It is a beautiful tale that is far from what I expected after reading the blurb; which means I am having trouble with how to write a spoiler free review.
The story is written from two separate perspectives, both in the first person, and spanning almost a decade. The timeline is fluid and we move through the years at the mercy of our heroine’s memories.
Atkins brings us a story of coincidences that mount up so far that it would be difficult to believe that there isn’t a force at work that brings us to the places we need to be in our lives. Maybe it’s fate, maybe it’s written in the stars but even with full freewill we still end up right where we need to be.
Charlotte and Ally have known one another since university, and Charlotte is now married to Ally’s first love. The two have not seen one another in years and it is far from a happy reunion when they find themselves face to face in an unlikely setting.
I found the flow of the story surprisingly easy to follow. I would have expected the jump from perspective to perspective coupled with the travel from past to present with very little warning to have interrupted the fluidity of the story, instead it served only to draw me deeper into the lives of the characters.
Our Song explores the depth of first love, the ease with which the past returns to haunt the present and the way in which friendships can grow out of the ashes of adversity, almost against the will of those involved.
There is a lot to be said for the old saying that everything happens for a reason, every decision in life sets you on the path to exactly where you are supposed to be. That is sometimes easier to deal with in theory than reality.
The last person either of these women expect to run into in the hospital on the night their life is turned upside down is each other. They were at university together when Charlotte moved in as the final room mate with a group of young men, one of them being Ally’s boyfriend David. Things weren’t left on the best of terms the last time they were together and the animosity is still very present, add the heightened emotions and stress of the situation they find themselves in and things are a little tense.
Atkins explores the emotions of both leading ladies with insight and empathy, and through their memories we learn a lot about the men that they love. The trips down memory lane are often sudden, though sparked by something in the present, and they paint a vivid picture of the characters; they draw us into their lives and the events that have brought them to this particular place and time. Nothing really explains why they ended up in the same place, except that sometimes you end up where you need to be.
The characters are all realistic and well drawn though their behaviour doesn’t always make them very likeable.
Our Song is a beautiful story that reminds us to hold our loved ones tight and never take anything for granted. It reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit and the beauty and wisdom that can be found in the young.
I loved this book, it was unique and engaging though I did find it became a little predictable. I could see the ending coming from about three quarters of the way through but that didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.
Dani Atkins has a way with words that brings you into the drama with her characters and I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of her work.
I was warned that I would need tissues for this one, and I did, but I think I would have needed more had I not been warned.
Thanks to Simon & Schuster 30 of our Beauty and Lace Club Members will be reading Our Song so please be aware there may be spoilers contained in the comments below.
Our Song is available February 1st through Simon & Schuster and where all good books are sold.