#aww2020 · 2020 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

Title: The Lost Love Songthe lost love song small

Author: Minnie Darke

Published: March 3rd 2020

Publisher: Penguin Books Australia

Pages: 368

Genres: Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 5 stars

The Lost Love Song is a bewitching novel about love, second chances and the power of music, from the author of the critically acclaimed, bestselling Star-crossed . . .

This is the story of a love song . . . And like any good love song, it has two parts.

In Australia, Arie Johnson waits impatiently for classical pianist Diana Clare to return from a world tour, hopeful that after seven years together she’ll finally agree to marry him.

On her travels, Diana composes a song for Arie. It’s the perfect way to express her love, knowing they’ll spend their lives together . . . Won’t they?

Then late one night, her love song is overheard, and begins its own journey across the world.

In Scotland, Evie Greenlees is drifting. It’s been years since she left Australia with a backpack, a one-way ticket and a dream of becoming a poet. Now she spends her days making coffee and her nights serving beer. And she’s not even sure whether the guy she lives with is really her boyfriend or just a flatmate.

Then one day she hears an exquisite love song. One that will connect her to a man with a broken heart . . .


‘That piece? You know what we call that piece?’

‘All right … tell me.’

Felix grinned. “Love Song”.’

Minnie Darke is best known for her enchanting novel Star-crossed, which became a bestseller last year. Her latest release is an unforgettable and life affirming tale of the power of music to transform lives. I have all good words to say about this affecting tale of love, life, loss, friendship, music and poetry.

The Lost Love Song is the spellbinding tale of a composition that travels around the world, changing people’s lives. It begins its journey in Australia, in the hands of the original composer, Diana. A classical pianist, Diana creates a song for her fiancé, to be gifted to him on her return from a big world tour. However, this song’s journey takes an alternative route and falls into different hands, not the intended recipient. So begins the amazing journey of the lost love song. From a Singapore hotel, to London, Edinburgh, Canada, New York and back to Australia again. This life changing love song travels full circle. Eventually, the song returns to Arie, the man who was originally meant to receive the song. But Arie is nursing one big broken heart and he may not be open to the healing power of this special composition. Drawing on the author’s meditations on the power of music to heal and nourish the soul, Minnie Darke’s astonishing new tale reminds us of the strength of music to reassure and connect us to one another.

Wow, just wow! I just adored this one. I didn’t expect to respond to The Lost Love Song in the way I did. I have to admit I judged it a little. I assumed it would a standard chick lit title and of late, I have struggled with contemporary romance. However, this book was a true gift, offering so much more. It was life affirming, upbeat, reflective, meaningful and hopeful. I truly loved it.

It didn’t take much time at all for me to be enamoured by the unfolding story, characters and big themes that circulate around The Lost Love Song. I was immediately taken by the character of Diana, a classical pianist and her fiancé. I was fully invested in their relationship and future. As I was invested in these characters,  I was quite taken aback by the change in fortune of these appealing protagonists. I was surprised and shocked by the circumstances they faced. I found the related topic of air travel and gas lighting which is touched on in this novel to be fascinating, but also deeply upsetting. I think Darke handled this aspect of the novel with insight, as well as sensitivity. Linked to this is Darke’s treatment of the process of loss and grief. We see the cycle of grief within the novel and how it impacts people on an individual level. Darke also approaches this aspect of her novel with the thought and care it deserves.

On a different note, The Lost Love Song is about connections, travel and fate. I liked how one simple musical piece changed the lives of so many it was able to touch. Clearly I underestimated the power of music! Darke shows us that music opens up world of possibilities, if you just listen and accept it into your heart. The Lost Love Song is contemplative, full of emotional depth and life changing moments. I loved the emphasis  on the musical world, alternative instruments and the links to poetry. This is a novel packed full of art and creativity. The Lost Love Song is also underscored by the emphasis on love in many forms, second chances, first love, lost love and parental love.

As you travel through this incredulous journey of love, life and music, Darke leaves you in the guiding hands of a very likeable character set. I really enjoyed spending time with Arie, Diana, Evie, Lenka, Richard, the young lovebirds and lost souls. Each managed to touch me in their own unique way.

I really enjoyed making my way across the globe, through the influential love song. Darke effortlessly transports the reader from Australia, to sultry Singapore, the streets of Edinburgh and back in Australia, closing off the story very neatly in one of my personal favorite places, Hobart. It was a wonderful and poignant journey, marked by many memorable events, that I am sure will remain locked inside my mind for some time to come.

Darke’s pensive narrative, which is refined and somehow reaches in and pulls at your heartstrings is a wonderful rendition to love in all its guises. The power of music to touch our lives, encouraging us to take a chance, or let love into our life, is expressed with ease on the pages of The Lost Love Song. This is a bewitching read, from an author I now greatly admire.

The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke was published on March 3rd 2020 by Penguin Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Lost Love Song, Minnie Darke, visit here.

*I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

The Lost Love Song is book #30 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge



9 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: The Lost Love Song by Minnie Darke

    1. Thanks so much for your support and I loved your review too. It sounds like we had a similar response to this one. I’m just grateful to this book for restoring my faith in contemporary romance, I’ve read some real doozies of late!


  1. Oh look at that cover, vibrant, eye-catching and gorgeous! And there’s a bird, perfect for the popsugar category ‘a book with a bird on the cover.’
    Love your review! Hope you come across other contemporary romance books that you love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, it;s a beauty and yes if it wasn’t a review book I would definitely have used it for the pop sugar challenge with the bird checkpoint. I am actually reading my book now for that category! Its an ex library book that i had to pay for and i got to keep as Archie chewed the back cover, it is in tact though! Thank you I am grateful to this book and author for restoring my faith in contemporary romance. I’ve been disappointed in many I’ve read so far this year from that particular genre.


  2. Dear Mrs B – Thank you (I mean, THANK you) for your review. I am beyond thrilled to have been able to tell you a story that you enjoyed. I am thrilled further still to see how deeply you understood what I was trying to do with The Lost Love Song. If any of your readers are at home at the moment, and can’t get to a library, they may like to know that there is an e-book, and also that the audiobook is read by a husband-and-wife team whose love for each other is now part of the story. Warmest, warmest wishes, from Minnie Darke

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to reach out and support my review. I’m so glad you are thrilled with my post and I was able to express to my readers the intentions of your novel. You have made my day and I’m pleased you have helped readers find ways to access your book in these uncertain times. Stay safe and warm wishes your way too, Amanda (Mrs B).


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