It’s not often a book comes along where people, place and plot are so intertwined that one doesn’t work without the other.
Or one that demands to be read to crashing drums and flashing lights.
But then if you came home to find your husband with his face between the long, silky legs of another woman, you’d make a bit of a song and dance about it too.
Especially if you’d only put clean sheets on the bed the day before.
The Summer Springsteen’s Songs Saved Me by award-winning short story writer and novelist Barbara Quinn is not just about Sofia and her philandering husband.
It’s about music and its power to heal wounds and the importance of friends and being in the right place at the right time – in this case, Bradley Beach, New Jersey, where Sofia finds refuge from her old life.
Most importantly, it’s about the Boss, Bruce Springsteen, and his ability to articulate what America needs to make it whole again.
This is a lovely, gentle tale of love and loss, loyalty and new beginnings and affirmation that there’s more to America and Americans than President Trump.
I’ve never been to New Jersey – never felt the pull to visit a state I’d mentally written off as New York’s poor relation.
But the picture Quinn (left) paints with such warmth and dexterity of a homely community and beautiful locations, and people who care about one another, is very inspiring.
In order to head courageously towards the future, Sofia must first let go of her past, find freedom and mend her broken soul.
Post Bexit, post Trump, there’s a lesson there for all of us.
Yes, the train may carry saints and sinners, losers and winners but dreams will not be thwarted and faith will be rewarded.
Like Sofia, there’s hope we’ll all make it to the land of dreams.
Review by Sue Featherstone.
Available to buy on Amazon.