Editor's note: Just here for the links mentioned in my BookBub or Goodreads post? Scroll down – they're at the end.
It seems fitting to post about Susanna Hoff's This Bird Has Flown on a (manic?) Monday. 🎸 The striking cover is what first caught my eye and the opening pages reeled me in with the funny double entendre that perfectly captures the protagonist's life at the time.
The rest of the story is no less of a ride, given Jane's passion for music and for falling in love – and her anxieties about all of it. I appreciated the glimpse inside the music business, watching her struggle to rediscover her writing voice and "hearing" her belt it out when she sings.
It's impossible not to feel the characters' – and the author's – love of music throughout, with the rhythmic, lyrical prose and how Jane and Tom use music to communicate beyond their own words. Among many great lines, I think my favorite in the whole book has to the one in a text Tom sends Jane, naming a song they both love.
"Wanna listen. Together. In bed?"
So sexy and intimate, that whole exchange.
There are many other nice and interesting touches, e.g. Jane's relationship and sibling-greeting with her brother. 😂 Oxford, practically a full member of the cast. The later-in-life romance between Tom's neighbor and colleague. Breaking the fourth wall.
This Bird Has Flown made me think, Carrie Soto is Back meets The Idea of You. I really enjoyed the book, a sweet, funny, romantic, gutsy story about creativity, second chances, and decisions that change our lives.
This Bird Has Flown links:
A National Public Radio (NPR) Book of the Day interview with Susanna Hoffs.
A fun and musically insightful 😉 discussion of Hoff's "unexpectedly delicious" journey of writing the book.
Holly Payne's Page One Podcast – Ep. 25: Susanna Hoffs: This Bird Has Flown
A great, in-depth discussion of many topics – Hoff's childhood in Los Angeles, her love of messy characters and lifelong dream to write fiction, the "language of music," and adapting This Bird Has Flown for the screen among others, including that well-crafted opening.
BTW, this over-50 author 👋🏼 appreciated hearing Hoffs and Payne talk about age and aging. (The book was published when she was 64.)
Hoffs' own playlist on Spotify
When I need some creative energy and inspiration this has become one of my new go-tos. 🙏
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