THE KEEPER OF SONGS: FIRST BLOGGER REVIEWS
Book bloggers are so important to authors these days, with ever-diminishing space in newspapers and magazines for reviews, and I’ve been so touched and heartened by the lovely early reviews from bloggers for The Keeper of Songs. Here's a selection...
Some books are so captivating you struggle to put them down. This book is a good example. One word to describe this book – captivating!
This book had such a hold over me. It was like the story had cast a magical spell over its reader. This story has all the makings for a great story; mystery over a singer’s disappearance, secrets, deep rooted family connections, Derbyshire countryside, music and an air of romance. The twisting and turning plot was fabulous. It was packed full of heartbreak, love, mystery and echoes from the past. I loved the dual POVs too.
Silva and Molly were great characters and their two stories were cleverly woven together. I loved Silva’s mission, which was set by her dying father, to find Molly, the beautiful and mysterious singer who had disappeared in 1967. From that point on I was hooked.
It was such a captivating and enjoyable book I read it in a couple of days. All the way through I kept thinking – this would make an excellent BBC drama.
Sarah Louise Hope
I absolutely adore split time line novels, especially if there is a musical undercurrent! This book had it all for me; it's one of my books of the year so far!
There are three main pillars of this book for me; romance, history and music. In equal measure, they transport the reader through the years and tales told by Molly and Silva, and that is just one of many reasons why I loved the main characters.
The missing song haunts you as you read and develop attachments to the characters. The descriptions of the setting and the surrounding are so rich that Chatsworth House is a character, too, making the stately home seem at once unattainable yet homely.
I found the way the moral dilemmas were handled in this book to be beautifully written, and the questions it threw to the forefront kept me thinking for a long time after I finished!
Overall, I can say no more without giving spoilers! This is an easy ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ from me!
Nicola Smith - Short Book & Scribes
As soon as I heard about The Keeper of Songs I knew I had to read it. I’d read Fiona Mountain’s genealogy novels in the past and enjoyed them and I couldn’t resist this new book which appealed for several reasons.
The first is that it’s one of my favourite kinds of storylines, the dual timeline kind. In 1967 a young folk singer, Molly Marrison, is about to make it big when she suddenly disappears. In 2002, Silva’s father dies and his last words are that she should “find Molly”. How are these two strands linked? Then there’s the folk songs themselves, one of which in particular plays a huge part in the story. Silva enlists the help of Robbie, her first love, who she hasn’t seen for years.
And the other, probably most compelling, reason for me enjoying this book is the setting of the Peak District and more specifically Chatsworth, a place not a million miles from where I live and one which I have visited many times over the years. Silva works as a housemaid there (which is more about conservation than scrubbing floors). I loved the sense of place, the descriptions of the rooms, gardens, the methods for looking after all the artefacts, and the way that Chatsworth is more than just a stately home, it’s a community for everyone who works there. I feel like the author must have done so much research and it really showed. Blue John Stone, which is only found in the caverns of Castleton, also plays a big part and I found it all absolutely fascinating.
This is a really lovely read, tying together local history through folk songs and folklore, with bittersweet love stories that echo down through the generations. As is often the case, I enjoyed the more contemporary story most of all. I think it’s because I like the characters to delve into the past and discover long-lost secrets. But I very much enjoyed the book as a whole and thought the author did a wonderful job at bringing it all together and creating a truly enchanting read.
What initially drew me to this book was the idea of a mystery and the setting of Chatsworth house. I desperately want to go and visit Chatsworth House because not only is it Pemberley in the Pride and Prejudice movie but it also stunning, so spending much of the book there and in the surrounding area made me incredibly happy.
The Keeper of Songs is all about music, a mystery and set against the backdrop of Chatsworth House. I stayed for the beautiful story of love and loss tied together across the decades by two wonderful women.
I have to visit Chatsworth House now, I've wanted to go for years and I think this book might just be the push to make me go.
I was drawn to this book by the idea of a mystery and the setting of Chatsworth House but stayed for the romance and the deep family connections and the idea of love that run throughout the book. That and the love that the author clearly had for the Derbyshire countryside and the people that used to live there.
Silva and Molly led the book as the two POVs that we got throughout the book as their two storylines became more and more intertwined as Silva embarked on the mission her father set her with his dying words. Find Molly, the beautiful and mystical singer who he had known in the 1960s and who had suddenly disappeared in 1967. I adored the two women and really loved how their two stories came together at the end of the book. Silva was just amazing and so resilient and she absolutely deserved the happy ending that she found after everything she went through and I really enjoyed how we got to see glimpses of her at different ages as well. Robbie was a wonderful character too and I really liked how he saw through the facade that Silva put out to the world and how he bought out the best in her. To be honest, all of the characters in this book were wonderfully written and the one thing that stood out to me most was the sense of community that they all had.
The plot was also wonderful. It was full of mystery and love and heartbreak and haunting echoes that ran back centuries to the song that played such a great role in the story, The Runaway Lovers.
Something that just added another layer to the brilliant story that Fiona Mountain had created that she set against the backdrop of Derbyshire and Chatsworth House (making me even more desperate to go and visit). As I said earlier I really liked the fact that we had the dual POV and I think that it really helped give a sense of fluidity between the two stories as Silva looked into Molly’s past as she is trying to move forward with her life. And the ending was just so heartwarming and not quite how I expected it all to go down in a good way. The theme of love was there right until the very end and I just loved that.
This book was so beautifully written and incredibly well informed. You could tell as you read through the book that Fiona Mountian not only knew what she was writing about concerning Molly and her storyline but also the stories in Derbyshire, as well as the fact that she clearly loved what she was writing about. This was book was such a delight to read and I recommend that you all go and check it out now!
Crazy Red Head Blog
Thank you also to the creative talent, Fiona Mountain for creating such a beguiling, entrancing and lovely story about, music, heartbreak, the past and how going back home can also be good to reignite past loves and heal old wounds. Wow this book had me gripped and entranced from the first page all the way to the end.
This is such a wonderful, lovely tale of both the power of love, redemptive love and also how mistakes and secrets in the past can come out and deliver some shocks, hurt and a mixture of anger and sadness but also a mixture of happiness too. This has all the ingredients for an amazing and heartwarming tale of love, sadness, hurt and anger which closely resembles the folk songs which are enthused in every line.
We follow not only the past but the future, in which Silva suddenly learns that she’s on her own and that her father has given her a task to fulfil, one that leaves her baffled but intrigued, ‘find Molly’. This is the hook that lures you in and what follows is like any good rhythm or riff or line in a song that sucks you in and captivates you with the story that unfolds. I loved Silva and Robbie’s story and how their relationship though in the past didn’t last due to one leaving to find life outside of the Peaks, whilst the other preferred staying safe at home, to then find that they are both now back home and the will they won’t they questions start to ramp up.
We also, throughout all of this witness (like all good observers do) the past that unfolds and creates the secrets and lies which have devastated a family’s life. I loved Molly and John and how they both have a wonderful connection, which there’s almost an uncanny likeness with Silva and Robbie (though not as devastating). Sukey, feels like the odd one out, the one that really shouldn’t have been in the frame, even though she is just as important to this soulful bard-like tale.
As we watch both the past and the future, we see the errors made by all the main characters which help set up the future and how it only takes one little task to unravel a gordian knot of lies and secrets and yet within that is also a chance to heal and overcome those secrets and hurts and realise that yes these events happened but you are not defined by the past it’s what you do with what you have that matters. I also loved how the song of the murdered lovers is also interwoven within this story, and how folk music and tales of old are fixed in our love of nature and old village communities.
I really loved this book, and can highly recommend this to anyone who loves folk music, old folk tales, love, hurt, secrets, deceits, lies and maybe possibly redemption.
This book wrings every emotion you have and more. It makes you laugh, cry and gives you hope.
Ratings: 5 🌟s with a large ☕️ and a large 🍰…. one to sit by the fire and just relax.
Cheryl M-M's Book Blog
The dual timeline and stories of Molly and Silva are told individually at first and yet slowly become intertwined to become one. The first Silva becomes aware of Molly is when her father utters his last words, then it is just a question of finding out who Molly is, where she is and why is she the last person Silva’s father thought of.
At the very core of this story is one of the oldest traditions to pass information and history along – the tradition of oral history through the medium of folk songs. The modern day folk singers are the conduits for the men and women of the past, of their voices and experiences, they keep the songs and pass them on to the next generation, hence the keeper of songs.
Mountain combines history, factual events and the rich tradition of folklore and the truths of history. The difference is the folk song is usually told by the working men and women, the people whose voices aren’t heard or written in history books. If this book awakens an interest in the subject then I can only recommend tracing the extraordinary roots of these songs – some of them are quite surprising.
It’s a beautiful read that manages to combine multiple genres at the same time. The dual timeline lends itself to a modern and historical story, then a mystery and the magical realism of folk song is woven into the story to create a captivating read.
Such a beautifully told tale of family history, music and love, woven together with the perfect setting of Chatsworth House. My favourite aspect was the feeling of togetherness and community, which I felt was elegantly expressed through the characters in the book. I really felt like the author had so much passion for this story and put a lot of wisdom into writing it. Overall it was a lovely read with very likeable characters, and I would highly recommend it!
This is a beautiful tale of romance, history and music. So beautifully written. The characters are all lovable and I think this story will be in my heart for a long time.
The story is told in two POVs, Molly and Silva. I adored both characters and how the two stories come together. The plot was beautifully executed and you can see how much research has gone into this work. The stunning backdrop of Chatsworth House is portrayed so realistically and the author acknowledges and thanks each who helped her with the research in the acknowledgement. I enjoyed this story immensely and also feel that the past has the power to shape our future. This definitely made me think about my generation of family. I definitely recommend this book.
🌟🌟🌟🌟💫 from me.
I’ll be honest, this isn’t the type of book I would normally pick up and although it’s been billed as a modern day Downton Abbey, I got some major Daisy Jones vibes and so I was intrigued! This is a really beautifully written story and breezed through it in a couple of days. Told from both Silva and Molly’s perspective in a timeline stretching from 1967-2002 you wonder what happened to Molly, why she was the one person Silva’s father wanted her to find and how one haunting song links it all together.
The Keeper of Songs is a beautiful story of romance and mystery, two of my favourite genres. This book was a magical read that I couldn’t put down.
I now really want to visit Chatsworth House because Fiona’s descriptive writing made it sound phenomenal.
By reading this story you could tell that Fiona had done long hours of research, the details were fantastic and made the story more interesting and wonderful.
I will certainly be recommending this book to friends and family, it was a beautiful read.
This book was amazing. Loved every page. It was a moving, romantic and emotional read. The characters were amazing and the story was epic.