Review: Lost Melody, by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith

Lost Melody cover artLost Melody, by Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith (Zondervan, 2011)

Jillian King was a gifted concert pianist until an accident damaged her left hand. She’s spent the past year grieving and afraid to touch her piano. When she and her fiancé, Glen Bradford, decide on a Christmas wedding (one month away) and her grandmother sets her up with two piano students, the stress is enough to give anyone nightmares.

But Jill’s nightmare is realistic and recurring: fire and cold, a disaster that will devastate the small community of Seaside Cove where she lives. Is she going crazy? Or should she obey the dream and warn the citizens?

Going public wouldn’t simply embarrass Jill—it would damage Glen’s political campaign. But what if she keeps silent and disaster strikes?

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith have written an intriguing story with a vibrant cast. It’s easy to empathize with Jill, and despite her grief she’s trying to move on with life so she’s in no way a depressing character.

Jill lives with her grandmother, a flamboyant lady whose good intentions sometimes have unexpected results. And Glen is a genuinely nice guy trying to do the right thing.

A bonus for me is the setting: how often do you see a US-published novel set in Canada, especially in Nova Scotia? Seaside Cove is a fictional community on the outskirts of Halifax. I imagine it being near Eastern Passage or a bit farther east along the coast.

There are a few minor wording choices that a local would notice (we never call the  harbour, even its mouth, a bay) but the descriptions give a genuine feel for the area and make it easy to visualize. I was pleased, through American Christian Fiction Writers, to answer some of the authors’ local research questions. Here’s hoping I didn’t lead them astray!

Lori Copeland and Virginia Smith are each well-established writers of Christian fiction. Lost Melody is their first collaboration, and they enjoyed the process so much that they’re doing two more books together: The Heart’s Frontier and A Plain and Simple Heart. Watch for both titles in 2012.

You can read the first chapter of Lost Melody on the authors’ shared website.

There’s also a section of bonus material including an alternate ending for the novel. The printed ending satisfied me, but I think I like the alternate one better. Can’t tell you why… spoilers.

[Review copy provided by the authors.]


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