Title: A Song of Isolation
Author: Michael J. Malone
Publisher: Orenda Books
Publication Date: 17th September 2020
Film star Amelie Hart is the darling of the silver screen, appearing on the front pages of every newspaper. But at the peak of her fame she throws it all away for a regular guy with an ordinary job. The gossip columns are aghast: what happened to the woman who turned heads wherever she went?
Any hope the furore will die down are crushed when Amelie’s boyfriend Dave is arrested on charges of child sexual abuse. Dave strongly asserts his innocence, and when Amelie refuses to denounce him, the press witch hunt quickly turns into physical violence, and she has to flee the country.
While Dave is locked up with the most depraved men in the country and Amelie is hiding on the continent, Damaris, the victim at the centre of the story, is isolated – a child trying to make sense of an adult world.
Breathtakingly brutal, dark and immensely moving, A Song of Isolation looks beneath the magpie glimmer of celebrity to uncover a sinister world dominated by greed and lies, and the unfathomable destruction of innocent lives … in an instant.
I’ve seen a lot of praise for this book so I was really looking forward to reading it and it absolutely lived up to my high expectations. Intensely readable, A Song of Isolation follows reclusive film star Amelie Hart and the fallout after her boyfriend is accused of a horrific crime. We see how one moment can affect a multitude of people and completely blow up more than one life in the process.
I picked up A Song of Isolation to read a few chapters before going to sleep and before I knew it I had read more than half the book! That is testament to how addictive this book is. I will definitely be reading more from this author because the way he draws you into the lives of these characters and makes you care about them is brilliant. The narrative is split between Amelie, Dave and the apparent victim of the crime, Damaris. Each character has to cope with the aftermath of one decision and they are all in very different places, physically and emotionally. However, in a way they are all isolated and vulnerable, which makes the reader feel so much empathy for them and I couldn’t stop until I knew how things ended up in their lives.
A lot of A Song of Isolation is about truth and memory and how complex both of these notions can be. The after effects of trauma are also deftly explored in a manner that makes the reader really understand the magnitude of it. Trauma can stem from an event that has happened to someone , however it can also be generated by an event that is not quite what it seems. The trauma is real even if it’s catalyst is not. I found the exploration of this fascinating. This book had a real impact on me, at times I was furious at certain injustices and then I was saddened by the aftershocks of a cruel decision of fate. This is a thriller of sorts but honestly I think it has more emotional resonance than many thrillers. I highly recommend picking this compelling, dark and deeply emotional book up.
Thank you so much to Anne Cater of Random Things Blog Tours for inviting me on this tour and organising it. I kindly received a e-copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion.