Monday, November 7, 2022

Book Review: The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano

About the Book:

When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant's father dies, he leaves to her the care of a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. Vivienne had no idea the woman existed, and yet her portrait is shockingly familiar. When the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know.

But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women's independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era--and now.

Read an excerpt on the publisher's website.

My Thoughts:

In The Lost Melody, Joanna Davidson Politano weaves a story of darkness to light and despair to hope. The novel started off slow and a bit confusing due to timeline jumps (which stopped after a few chapters). I read the book in small sittings at the beginning, but the story grew on me until it was hard to put down.

The Lost Melody inhabits the dark atmosphere of Hurstwell Asylum, a Victorian-era facility in the isolated English countryside. The heaviness of hope lost weighs on the asylum patients, Vivienne Mourdant (our protagonista), and the reader. Vivienne learns first-hand about the mistreatment of the asylum patients. Seeing how the lack of compassionate care adversely affects mental health reminded me of today’s nursing home abuse.

Beyond the abuse and darkness, The Lost Melody offers polished prose, curated character development, and outstanding themes. Vivenne’s mindset changes quietly against the backdrop of this dark asylum, but she blooms with stunning light as she embraces God’s will and steps into her giftings. Politano does not allow her characters an easy out or rush the story’s climax.  I delighted in how plot events culminated and spiritual themes bore fruit to create a beautiful ending.

I recommend The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano to Christian fiction readers who enjoy a story with powerful themes set in a Gothic atmosphere. For readers who enjoyed Politano’s prior novel, A Midnight Dance, Jack and Ella cameo in The Lost Melody and I loved glimpsing their later life. Five stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I was provided a copy of this book by the author or publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


  1. Excellent review! I enjoyed this one as well! I have not read A Midnight Dance yet.

    1. I highly recommend A Midnight Dance! It's an excellent book and not quite as dark The Lost Melody.

  2. Nice review! This sounds so good!