Heard it in a Love Song, a review by Di

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Tracey Garvis Graves

St Martin’s Press
Nov 2, 2021
304 pages

Amazon | Goodreads

I chose to read this book strictly because of the title. It is also the name of a catchy tune from 1977 (that I had forgotten about) by the Marshall Tucker Band. Strange reason to pick a book but it worked out well.

The book is about Layla and Josh. The focus of the chapters alternates between the two of them. The chapters are in the present but the present also triggers memories of the past for each one. The format is different, I liked it.

Layla and Josh are both coming out of divorces. The backstories tell what happened to their respective relationships. Layla teaches at the school that Josh’s daughter goes to. Because they are both gun shy, their relationship develops at a slow burn.

Josh and Layla are easy to like. Though I don’t actually know anyone that I could compare them to, they seem like people I could be friends with. They are presented as “real people” with doubts and insecurities and real jobs (electrician and music teacher) and budgeting issues. It was refreshing to read a book with characters I could identify with. Definitely, a character-driven book as opposed to action or plot driven.

There is a bit of mystery or mild suspense as the story develops. Both of the backstories suggest hurtful breakups leading Josh and Layla to be the cautious characters we meet. It seems they learned from their mistakes in their first marriages.

I loved the strength they gained by the end of the book. I loved how they grew as people.

The author mentioned the Marshall Tucker Band in the Afterward. And, the song, Heard it in a Love Song. I have read the lyrics to the song several times, trying to find the connection to this book. If there is one, I don’t get it. But I love the fact the song led me to choose this book. Thoroughly enjoyable.

The only issue I have with the book is the cover. It looks like a cover from the 1970s. I know they say that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover. But, often, the cover is what draws me to a book. In this case, it was the the title. But, perhaps, the cover was chosen because Heard it in a Love Song was from the 1970s. Either way, I’m happy to have read the book.

Thank you to NetGalley for the Advance Readers Copy of this book.

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