Hi friends. Life, am I right? I come to you today with part book review and part heart to heart. I want to talk about The Lost Melody by Joanna Politano, and the right to will.
This is something of a complex topic, but when I say the right to will, in this instance, I’m referring to the freedom of speech and being taken for what you say. Not in a sense that you’re being honest or dishonest, or based on reputation, but rather the idea that one has gone off the deep end and is not physically or mentally fit to make their own decisions.
In this book the main character, Vivienne, is committed to an mental asylum. Vivienne is dreamed mentally unfit or “mad” as they called it. (This is a historical fiction just fyi.) As a result, anything Vivienne says or claims that didn’t line up with the information that the hospital was told or had on file was considered fictional stories that Vivienne had formulated in her unsteady mind and convinced herself it was truth. Because of this, Viv was not taken seriously on any account and was restrained and sedated for fighting against her bondage. And the ferocity with which she fought was thought madness itself and used to reinforce the fact that she was unstable.
What the World Deems Fit.
This idea is terrifying, I’m sure, not just for me. And across history, it has always been a matter of deciding what’s best for the whole. Oh how society is an absolute slave to fear. Anybody with radical or strange or new or different ideas or suggestions is completely outcast. If you stand out, you are a threat. Christians were martyred for their radical beliefs, for threatening the order and doctrine of the Pharisees. Nicolaus Copernicus’ was criticized for his suggestion to a heliocentric solar system. Even if we stand back, how many innocent people were burned at the Salem Witch Trials out of the terror of the whole? How many innocent people ended up in asylums simply for being different. Hundreds of people mislabeled and misunderstood and mistreated. Simply because society has taught us that different is bad, something to fear. And that anything that makes us uncomfortable is to be corrected, cured, or simply degraded and then shunned. For the good of the whole.
Even now. Sure, we fight for inclusivity, we fight to advocate for the minority. We seek equality and justice. But if we are not fighting for the same minority group as everybody else, if we even suggest that maybe the broad way is mislead, we are canceled and hated. And those who fight harder for what they believe are silenced however necessary, severity depending on the threat they present to the majority and media. Look how hard the world fights for gender inclusivity, anybody can be a woman. And yet, when the fight is over the lives of unborn children, only those with a uterus have the right to speak. Double standards there? It’s all about the safety and for the best for the whole… right?
Advocating is such a big word. Covers so many topics. Our world advocates for so many things. So many cries for justice and better treatment and better access to healthcare and eliminating racism and creating equal rights and pay across the board. So much politics. How do we know which cases we should advocate for?
Who did Jesus love? All. Who did He heal? All who came to Him. Every last one. Did He enable the sin? Absolutely not. He never ever approved of the sin. Oh, but how He loved the sinner. There is a difference.
That’s a very scatter brained collection of thoughts. Do what you will with it. Let’s move onto a review.
The Lost Melody by Joanna Politano – Revell Book Review
Taking from what I’ve already said, this book was hard to swallow. Personally, it was not my favorite of Politano’s work. In general, there was a bit of a darker theme through all of it. The pain and desperation was just not what I expected and I don’t know. I will probably not be reading this one again.
The characters in this book were interesting. Some of them at least. Vivienne felt a little like a cheddar Cheeto that tried to be something special. She was too firey and bland at the same time.
Dr. Turner was admirable. I liked him a bit. I liked Rose. I liked Clara. Lew reminded me of someone and that made me happy. But I don’t remember who he reminded me of. More of a feeling than an essence than an actual person.
The plot was well paced, and Politano did not disappoint with her consistency and well built plot. The mystery and questions came up and got answered in a very satisfying way while also building to a main climax and plot line. It’s one of my favorite parts of her books.
This plot was a little bit more scatterbrained than I am used to by her, but not so much that you get lost. And everything got tied up really well in the end, even if it felt a little rushed in a few places.
There was definitely some potentially triggering content in this book. Vivienne was abused by her father by being placed in dark isolation. As a result, Viv is terrified of the dark.
The women are also abused to a degree in the asylum. Various methods included sleeping injections, sleeping drugs in tea, rough treatment, physical violence, restraints, and at one point Vivienne is subjected to water torture.
There are a few kisses, I didn’t find them inappropriate, but they were before marriage. Also mention of a woman or two having a babe out of wedlock.
I give this book three stars. It wasn’t my favorite, and was a little heavier than I wanted. But the plot was well built and the author referenced back to some very lovable characters from The Midnight Dance. You can read my review for that book here!
Life changes by the minute… I don’t know what’s happening next. I don’t know what God has for me tomorrow… not to even mention next week or next month.
I’m waiting. Being faithful in the waiting. Being still and knowing He is God.
I’ll let you all know once I find out what He’s doing.