The Perfect Love Song, by Patti Callahan Henry
This book was a good read around the holidays. I'm sorry that the review is in January, but maybe you'll want to continue Christmas just a bit longer? (We still have our tree up, so it fits in our house!)
From the publisher: Jimmy Sullivan has been living on the road with his brother, Jack, and his band The Unknown Souls. Without a place to call home, Jimmy and Jack lead a nomadic life filled with music and anonymous cities. When they return to a place Jimmy never wants to see again—their old hometown of Seaboro, South Carolina—he falls in love with Charlotte Carrington. With his soul now filled with hope, Jimmy writes his first love song. When he performs it at a holiday concert to a standing ovation, the lyrics are dubbed the "Perfect Love Song," so much so that Jimmy finds himself going on tour with famous country music stars, catapulted into a world where the trappings of fame and fortune reign supreme. All too soon, the hope that had once inspired Jimmy to write such beautiful, genuine lyrics is overshadowed by what the song can do for him and his career. In his thirst for recognition, he agrees to miss Jack’s wedding in Ireland to sing at a Christmas Eve concert. And his ties to Charlotte seem to be ever so quickly slipping away. Is it too late to find his way to Ireland, to his brother, and to love?
My thoughts: I have to admit, it started off pretty slow. I started reading it when it arrived in my mailbox (thank you, Vanguard Press!), but after the first chapter, I had to put it down. It wasn't calling to me, and I had other things that were more pressing that needed to be done. I let it sit for about a week, read at least one other book, then I went back to it. After I gave up trying to figure out just who was narrating the story, I started to enjoy it. Perhaps it had been told in the beginning and I had missed it. I don't think I did, but you never know. Anyway, after about halfway through the book, I couldn't put it down. I realized I knew what the ending would be, but I had to find out just how it happened. I started to wonder why Jimmy was acting like an idiot, and I felt bad for Charlotte. I started to feel like I knew the characters personally, and I wanted to wring Jimmy's neck for being stupid.
Over all, after a rough start, this book turned out to be a good one. Will I reread it every Christmas season like I used to read The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson? No, I can't say that I will. I will say that it was a good book and I was glad I gave it a second chance. I think I might even give some of the other titles by Patti a go when I get a chance!