Review: The Songbook of Benny Lament by Amy Harmon #5stars
THE SONGBOOK OF BENNY LAMENT
From the bestselling author of What the Wind Knows and From Sand and Ash comes a powerful love story about a musical duo who put everything on the line to be together.
New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.
Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.
It would be easier to walk away. But the music and the woman are too hard for the piano man to resist. Benny’s songs and Esther’s vocals are an explosive combination, a sound that fans can’t get enough of. But though America might love the music they make together, some people aren’t ready for Benny Lament and Esther Mine on—or off—the stage.
YES!!! This book was everything I had hoped for when I heard Amy Harmon had a book coming out about a songwriter and a singer that is set in New York City in the 1960s.
I love podcasts and this book starts out with Benny Lament being interviewed on the radio. Benny tells the story of how he came from a mob family to becoming famous. Another favorite of mine is autobiographies/memoirs/biographies and now that I’m done with the book I can see how it had that feeling too. The Songbook of Benny Lament had a good mixture of podcasts (radio) and memoir vibes.
Esther Mine is a powerhouse singer. She’s small in stature but her voice is big. As a Black woman navigating the music world she experiences plenty of racial injustices and biases. New York City in the ’60s had its fair share of violence and racial discrimination. I wasn’t alive in the ’60s but it is crazy to me that some of these same issues are still happening today.
I love when a book feels so real that you want to google the people so you can see photos and find out tidbits about them but then you remember this a fiction book.
I enjoyed this so much I have it in 3 forms: paperback, kindle, and audiobook. I recently listened to it and loved it. You can’t go wrong with whatever version you decide to read.
Audio book source: Audible
Narrator: Rob Shapiro
Length: 14H 52M
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