Songs of Willow Frost by Jamie Ford; 2013; $26.00; 331 pages; Ballantine Books, New York, NY; 978-0-345-52202-3; Fiction; checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gregory Heights; 9/19-9/27

Why did I pick this up?  Jamie Ford is going to be at Wordstock this weekend so I wanted to read something by him.

What is the story?  William is in a home for orphans and abandoned children in Seattle in 1934.  He is there because his mother abandoned him.  He never knew who his father was, or what the story of his mother was.  One day the children visit the movie theater and William sees a movie poster featuring a Chinese actress named Willow Frost, who William believes is his mother.  He and his friend Charlotte escape from the institution and encounter Willow and William begins to get answers to his questions about his life.  It is a story that all takes place in and around Seattle between  1921 and 1934.  There are many twists and turns throughout the story.

Did you like it?  Yes, it was gripping and moving.  Wordstock authors are almost always good storytellers and this one was so good that I really want to read his other book and am looking forward to meeting him at the festival this weekend.


What is with the title of the review? Jamie Fords’ first novel is titled Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and this story is filled with bitter and sweet stuff throughout.