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Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel by Jamie Ford
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Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel (edition 2013)

by Jamie Ford

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69510113,692 (3.75)67
Member:thebluestockings
Title:Songs of Willow Frost: A Novel
Authors:Jamie Ford
Info:Ballantine Books (2013), Edition: 0, Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library
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Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford

  1. 00
    The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The Bonesetter's Daughter depicts a contemporary Chinese-American woman who learns about her immigrant mother's past, while Songs of Willow Frost portrays a Chinese-American actress during the Great Depression. Both atmospheric novels explore the social and economic marginalization of women.… (more)
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» See also 67 mentions

English (100)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  All (102)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
Willow gave up her son during the depression. Her sons father was her Uncle and he raped her. Since she was a Chinese female living in Seattle Chinatown during the depression she had no rights. Her son was given to a Foster home. She was a wonderful singer and actress. This is her story. Wonderfully written. ( )
  pgabj | Mar 6, 2017 |
I greatly enjoyed this book. It tugs at your heart strings the entire time. In fact, it breaks your heart a few times during the story. It also shows how common sense can unfortunately take a back seat to cultural beliefs - you want to just shake some sense into Willow.

I definitely recommend this one :) ( )
  lynnski723 | Dec 31, 2016 |
I loved the story how young William learned about his mother and the story she tells him of her life. William learn that while his life was not easy but to know what his mother went through just to protect her son.
well you will cry. read it you will love it to. ( )
  TracyKelley | Nov 23, 2016 |
This was a serious and sad story. It was not difficult to read. I enjoyed the characters in this story. The story caused my emotions to go on a roller coaster ride. I sometimes cheered for William and other times cried for William. William became a real person not just a character for me. I do think the author did an awesome job telling a small piece of history in fiction form. I will be watching for future works done by this author. ( )
  BrendaKlaassen | Aug 10, 2016 |
Jamie Ford's debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, will - always and forever - share a lofty perch with Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Jamie recommended that book to me), Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl, Tolkien's The Hobbit/LOTR Trilogy among others on my "Favorite Books of All Time" list. I've postponed writing this review because, in my heart of hearts, I didn't feel it was fair to compare Hotel and Songs of Willow Frost. Nevertheless, human nature being what it is, I wasn't entirely successful in that endeavor.

Comparatively, Songs of Willow Frost did not come up lacking; it's a wonderful story! I simply saw the two books from different perspectives and I wanted to make sure my *review* was a fair one!

Songs of Willow Frost is set in Seattle - a city I lived in for a number of years and (will always) love. The iconic Seattle landmarks, described within the pages of the book, left me feeling right at home. When I'm reading, I always anticipate the moments when I feel as though I've stepped into the pages of the book; Jamie Ford's novels definitely draw me in!

As the characters sprang to life, for me, I loved William Eng's unflagging devotion to those he cared about, his optimism and his positive view of the Depression Era environment. William's best friend, Charlotte - an amazing young girl whose encouragement, love and support epitomized the meaning of friendship. And, then, there was Willow - a woman whose strengths, and weaknesses, resonated in such a way that I found it difficult to remember that she was a fictional character. Perhaps we've all known someone like Willow Frost.

Jamie Ford is a master when it comes to fleshing out his characters . . some you'll come to love; others, you'll grow to despise! The ability to infuse life into a (fictional) book's characters is the mark of a master storyteller.

I highly recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading the next! Speaking of the *next* book . . as I read Songs of Willow Frost I was reminded of a WWII-era story a close friend (who grew up in Seattle) shared. A fascinating story that, I believe, could easily evolve into the third NYT Best Seller feather in Jamie Ford's cap! *wink* ( )
  idajo | May 8, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jamie Fordprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mantovani, AlbaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I lost the angel who gave me summer the whole winter through. I lost the gladness that turned into sadness, When I lost you. - Irving Berlin, 1912
Dedication
This book is for my mother, whom I used to call every Sunday night.
First words
William Eng woke to the sound of a snapping leather belt and the shrieking of rusty springs that supported the threadbare mattress of his army surplus bed.
Quotations
It is the supreme irony-that the only person I have ever deeply loved, should be borne of blood that I loathe.
She delighted that he’d been born eight pounds, eight ounces, two lucky numbers in a row to a mother wedded only to sadness and misfortune.
You can’t expect children to sew their own gaping wounds without leaving a terrible scar.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345522028, Hardcover)

From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes a much-anticipated second novel. Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.
 
Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mother’s listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.
 
Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of William’s past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.
 
Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, Songs of Willow Frost takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Ford’s sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.
 
Praise for Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
 
“A wartime-era Chinese-Japanese variation on Romeo and Juliet . . . The period detail [is] so revealing and so well rendered.”—The Seattle Times
 
“Mesmerizing and evocative, a tale of conflicted loyalties and timeless devotion.”—Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
 
“An impressive, bitter, and sweet debut that explores the age-old conflicts between father and son and the depths and longings of deep-heart love.”—Lisa See, author of Dreams of Joy
 
“A moving story of love lost and perhaps once again found.”—United Press International
 
“A tender and satisfying novel . . . This is a beautifully written book that will make you think. And, more important, it will make you feel.”—Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain
 
“A satisfying and heart-wrenching tale . . . that transports the reader back in time.”—Deseret Morning News

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:28 -0400)

With his friend Charlotte, twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese-American boy, escapes from a Seattle orphanage determined to find his mother Willow and discover his connection to the exotic film star.

(summary from another edition)

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