05 May 2014

Jane's Melody by Ryan Winfield

  What boundaries would you cross for true love?

That's the question a grieving mother must answer when she takes in a young street musician she believes can shed light on her daughter's death—only to find herself falling for him. A sexy but touching love story that will leave you both tantalized and in tears, Jane's Melody follows a forty-year-old woman on a romantic journey of rediscovery after years of struggling alone.

Sometimes our greatest gifts come from our greatest pain. And now Jane must decide if it's too late for her to start over, or if true love really knows no limits.

The story started out emotional for me as I am a mother reading about a mom sitting in the cemetery watching her daughter’s grave.  No parent should have to bury their own child but this is where 40 year old Jane found herself.  After years of not knowing what her substance abusive daughter was doing or where she was, she ended up having a grave to go to and questions that she feared would never be answered.  Jane was truly alone in life, her mother and brother battling their own addictions were of no comfort or support.  Melody’s dad had left Jane before Melody even knew him, so being a single mother was all she knew.  Now was she even a mother since her daughter was dead?  Did she even have an identity anymore?

On her search to find the answers as to what Melody was doing before her death, she comes across Caleb, playing the guitar on the street trying to earn some cash.  She remembers him as the stranger at her daughter’s grave and prays he might have the answers she is looking for.  As the story goes on she is able to help him and finds out he might have been her daughter’s boyfriend but she also sees much more in him, possibly the answer to her prayers she never dreamed to pray. 

Caleb is a wise 24 year old man who has dreams of being a musician; he also has a lot of baggage from his childhood and is as alone now as Jane.  He has a caring heart that won’t allow him to turn his love into hate and resentment.  Instead he offers Jane a chance to heal and a path to find herself and what she wants in life.  When the two become aware that maybe love has found them, Jane struggles with the age difference and makes some choices that she may regret later on.  Will society see her as a woman who is strong and moving through her guilt and grief to find happiness again, or will they see her as a stupid old woman hanging on to anything her daughter once touched, just to keep her memory alive?

The book was emotional for me at times, the grief was very evident in the characters and I was blown away at how the author showed Melody’s involvement in her mother’s happiness even in death.  While she gave nothing to her mom while she was a live, it was like she paved the way for her mother to find her way out of the dark tunnel of grief.  I was amazed to find that such a tender and emotional piece of writing from a mother’s point of view came from a male author; I have to give him kudos for what he accomplished.  As a mother I could connect on every level that he wrote Jane in, from shock, sadness, and despair and into living again after your world has been shattered. 

I highly recommend this book.  The only thing keeping me from giving it five stars was the times it felt like the story stalled and was not moving in any direction, but then isn’t the what grief in real life is also like?   Maybe that was his point in writing it that way. 
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FHZCJH0/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00FHZCJH0&linkCode=as2&tag=crysmanrev-20     http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/janes-melody-ryan-winfield/1115688000?ean=9781476771243&itm=1&usri=jane%27s+melody


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