About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Thursday, November 10, 2022

The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano

The Lost Melody

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant's father dies, he leaves to her the care of a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. Vivienne had no idea the woman existed, and yet her portrait is shockingly familiar. When the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know.

But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women's independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era--and now.


'One day in late May of 1886, I found myself imprisoned in the Hurstwell Pauper Lunatic Asylum. This was unconscionable---I had never been a pauper.'

This story isn't always pleasant but it's one that I couldn't put down. Author Joanna Davidson Politano delves into asylums during the Victorian England era and it's a tale of a young concert pianist enduring the dark side of these institutions. Politano shares Vivienne's pain of never having parental love and the agony of being forced to live in an asylum because of a clause in her father's will. Some of her treatment is harsh and unnerving and Vivienne is even deprived of her beloved music! And then, in her darkest times, a glimmer of light and hope is returned to her!

So many emotions are explored in this poignant tale and it's apparent that the author devoted many hours to researching the subject of mental health treatment during this period. Politano shares some of her findings in her Author's Notes and they add even more depth to this story. I was especially intrigued by the use of musical therapy for these patients! The Lost Melody wasn't easy for me to read but I am so glad I had the chance!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Revell Reads. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Joanna Davidson Politano is the award-winning author of Lady Jayne DisappearsA Rumored FortuneFinding Lady EnderlyThe Love Note, and A Midnight Dance. She loves tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives and is eager to hear anyone's story. She lives with her husband and their children in a house in the woods near Lake Michigan. You can find her online at www.jdpstories.com.

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