With a beautiful and vibrant cover â€˜Songs In Ursa Majorâ€™ is the debut novel by Emma Brodie.
From the moment Jane Quinn steps barefoot onto the main stage at Island Folk festival, her golden hair glinting, her voice soaring into the summer dusk, a star is born â€“ and so is a passionate love story. Janeâ€™s band hits the road with none other than Jesse Reid, the musician whose bright blue eyes are setting hearts alight everywhere. And as the summer streaks by in a haze of crowds, wild nights and magenta sunsets, Jane is pulled into the orbit of Jesseâ€™s star. But Jesseâ€™s rise could mean Janeâ€™s fall. And when she discovers a dark secret beneath his music, she picks up her guitar and writes her heartache into the album that could make or break her: Songs in Ursa Major.
Set in the folk/rock music scene of the 1960/70â€™s, this story is loosely based on the great love affair between Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Jane Quinn is the face of the Breakers, a musician who can sing as well as play instruments, she catches the eye of rockstar Jesse Reid when her band ends up playing his set. The pair share a mutual bond for music and begin an affair whilst touring together and Janeâ€™s becomes more successful and recognised for her performing and songwriting skills.
The story is well written and feels very authentic of this era and itâ€™s obvious that Emma is a huge music fan with the level of the knowledge that is applied to the story. The story not only focuses on the rise of Janeâ€™s stardom, her relationship with Jesse but also the music industry and how itâ€™s perceived to a female artist, the misogyny and the sexism. I loved the characters in the story, both Jane and Jesse are battling their own personal demons and this is probably what makes them such accomplished writers and why their connection is so strong. Jane has never fully recovered from her mother leaving her family and she also was a songwriter but Jane is a strong woman raised in a family of strong women who do not marry, nor do they rely on men. The book focuses on the mental health and substance abuse attached to the rock and roll lifestyle of this time and parts of this makes for sad reading as people battled addictions.
For music lovers, this book is a must read, hazy, romantic and full of sass, â€˜Songs In Ursa Majorâ€™ is an accomplished debut that made for intoxicating reading from the first page.
You can buy ‘Songs In Ursa Major’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.