THE KEEPER OF SONGS
Publication Date: 2nd July 2021
Secrets hide in the strangest places
A missing singer
A doomed love story
A family split apart by secrets & lies
Can an ancient song show them the way forward?
1967: Enigmatic young folk singer Molly Marrison disappears on the cusp of fame.
2002: Silva is working as a housemaid at Chatsworth when her father suddenly dies, leaving her with one instruction - find Molly.
The only clue is a haunting song, centuries old, that Molly recorded before she vanished.
The only person who can help Silva fulfil her father’s dying wish is song collector, Robbie Nightingale. They were teenage sweethearts, but Silva’s not spoken to Robbie for decades.
If they try to find Molly, what else will they discover? For Molly is not the only girl to have disappeared. Silva’s mother, Sukey, vanished when Silva was a child, leaving her with scars that Robbie once tried to heal.
A modern-day Downton Abbey set at Chatsworth House, England’s most famous stately home.
Inspired by the work of Mercury Music Nominated folk singer and song collector, Sam Lee and Bella Hardy’s song ‘Henry & Clara’ from her album ‘The Dark Peak and the White.’
Based on real events - the murder of ‘The Runaway Lovers’ in the Peak District.
A dual timeline family history mystery.
Will appeal to fans of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Lucinda Riley.
Audio drama adaptation with ‘Alternative Stories & Fake Realities’ Podcast.
‘Romantic, meticulously observed, historically fascinating and musically highly literate. Fiona Mountain understands everything about the fine folk art of storytelling. The Keeper of Songs is a wonderful tale exquisitely told, showing a deep empathy with the landscape of the Peak District and the traditional music that has emanated from it. Fiona creates a world of romance, detail and heartfelt emotion.’
- Mark Radcliffe, Broadcaster, musician, writer and presenter of BBC Folk on 2.
‘The depth of Fiona’s research for this book is evident in her thoughtful and magical portrayal of the stories deep within our old songs. She is a natural diviner of the worlds that dwell within them, both real and fictional and she has created a novel that reveals more secrets than one knew a song could ever keep.’
- Sam Lee, Mercury Prize nominated folk singer, song collector and broadcaster, author 'The Nightingale, Notes on a Songbird.
With such a lightness of touch and meticulous attention to detail, surely Fiona Mountain must have cleaned the chandeliers of Chatsworth in a former life? The Keeper of Songs is a well crafted and heart-rending tale of love and loss woven skillfully across multiple generational divides, and throughout, her love for Chatsworth and the beautiful Peak District shines through. A gripping read; I loved it!
- Christine Robinson, Author of Chatsworth, the Housekeeper's Tips, Tales & Tipples'
‘It's been a great pleasure to read The Keeper of Songs, and I know it's a book that will stay with me for a long time. Fiona Mountain's own fascination with the power and resonance of music and folklore is evident as the threads of the narrative slowly weave together, and the lost lives and lost loves, the secrets and lies, the misunderstandings and the regrets, resolve themselves - though not without grief - into a satisfying conclusion. Her meticulous research takes us from the depths of the caves of Castleton to the majesty of Chatsworth House, but it's folk music that drives the story - the ancient songs, telling tales of tragedy and true love, that generations of singers have kept alive to this day
- Jane Sanderson, Author of ‘Mix Tape.’
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