Title: The Song Remains the Same
Author: Allison Winn Scotch
Release Date: April 12, 2012
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A woman wakes up in the hospital. She has no memory of who she is or how she got there. Slowly, she learns that she is Nell Slattery, one of two survivors of a plane crash. She learns that she is married, is an art gallery owner, and has a sister. As Nell tries to piece her life back together through the information others give her, she must rediscover who she is and if she’s living the life she always wanted to.
Amnesia seems to be an increasingly popular storyline in women’s fiction today, yet Allison Winn Scotch puts her trademark unique spin on the subject in The Song Remains the Same. Instead of resorting to clichés and overused plot devices, Scotch wipes the slate clean, making this story fresh and new. Like anyone else in her situation, Nell wants only to discover who she was. She’s not afraid of finding the bad along with the good, but she’s having trouble because it seems that everyone around her has an agenda when it comes to her memories. It’s not that people are keeping things from her to be malicious, but that they have their own narrative of how Nell’s life should proceed and are ensuring that, by keeping information from her, she is sticking to that.
It’s frustrating for Nell to have so few pieces with which to put her life back together, so she begins to focus on the one subject no one seems to want to talk about: her absent father. It’s clear that Nell had a close relationship with her father before he left their family when she was a child. She becomes convinced that her father is the magic key to her memories, her happiness, and everything in between. Through this focus on the father-daughter relationship, Scotch elevates The Song Remains the Same from an amnesia story to the tale of a daughter searching for a father, with all of its messy repercussions. It’s the story of a woman who just wants to be loved for who she is.
Nell also reevaluates her life because of her amnesia. She will make readers want to examine their own lives, as she weeds out her beige furniture and boring wardrobe. “Is this where I wanted to be when I was twenty?” readers will ask themselves. In many ways, she serves as an inspiration. Though she faced horrible circumstances, she came through them with a positive attitude, despite her failing memory. It’s only as the book progresses that the reader realizes - and Nell herself realizes - that she is, in fact, broken.
The Song Remains the Same is a quick read, but it's also beautiful and contemplative. Scotch’s focus on music as Nell’s source of solace will resonate with music-loving readers as they see themselves in this complicated woman. Book clubs shouldn’t hesitate to pick up this book, as they’ll want to dissect Nell and the motives of those around her. Scotch has written another winner, one of her best yet, and I’m already eagerly anticipating her next book.
Other books by Allison Winn Scotch: