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Songs of Willow Frost

Songs of Willow Frost [Kindle Edition]

Jamie Ford
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Praise for Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: 'Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is very special...It is a superb love story, an emotional weepy with lots of heart, a lovely, lovely book.'Sarah Broadhurst, The Bookseller 'The book has been a big 'word of mouth' seller, and it is easy to see why... A thoroughly enjoyable novel with strong characters and something important to say. Very much recommended.'Historical Novels Review 'Ford deftly pulls off a Hollywood-worthy romance from the files, one anchored to a true event...Ford has a keen eye for the difficulties of youth and the struggles inherent in a cultural hot-pot. This is an entertaining and often illuminating tale that no doubt will be appearing at a cinema near you soon.'The Spectator

Product Description


From Jamie Ford, the New York Times bestselling author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, comes his much-anticipated second novel.

Set against the backdrop of Depression-era Seattle, Songs of Willow Frost is a powerful tale of two souls—a boy with dreams for his future and a woman escaping her haunted past—both seeking love, hope, and forgiveness.

William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattle’s Sacred Heart Orphanage for five long years. On his birthday—or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday—William and the other children are taken to see a movie and he glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. William is convinced that the movie star is his mother. When William sets out to find Willow he discovers that her story is far more complicated than any Hollywood fantasy.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1687 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00EPSGZ98
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (10 Sep 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,782 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jamie Ford is the great grandson of Nevada mining pioneer Min Chung, who emigrated from China to San Francisco in 1865, where he adopted the western name 'Ford', thus confusing countless generations. Ford's debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is a New York Times bestseller, and has been awarded the 2010 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. It has been translated into twenty-nine languages. Having grown up near Seattle's Chinatown, Ford now lives in Montana with his wife and children.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars SONGS OF HOPE AND DESPAIR 10 Sep 2013
By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
SONGS OF WILLOW FROST is a story of a Chinese-American boy and his mother whose worlds are rocked by old fashion tradition and morality and the prejudice of an unforgiving society. Spanning a time frame of 13 years from 1921 to 1934 the story is told from the perspective of William and his mother Liu Song/Willow.

It is 1934 and Seattle as well as the rest of the country is steeped in the uncertainty of the "great depression". William lives in the Sacred Heart Orphanage with an assortment of other children who, like William, live lives forever altered by time and circumstances. In reality, many of the residents of Sacred Heart are not truly orphans since their parents are still alive and William, after seeing a movie featuring an actress named Willow Frost, is sure that he is one of those with a living parent. With his best friend, a blind girl named Charlotte, he goes in search of the truth.

This is a multi-faceted tale with characters and relationships that are complex and fully developed. It takes the reader down a multitude of avenues as it explores the strength of the human spirit, the quest for love and hope, the limited opportunities of women and minorities (and minority women in particular), and what abandonment and desperation can force a person to do.

If you, like I, found Jamie Ford's first novel HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET a book to savor, you are certain to love THE SONGS OF WILLOW FROST with its cast of fallible but relatable human beings, whose actions are controlled by their circumstances and their culture. It makes the reader realize that in many respects
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great 25 May 2014
After enjoying Jamie Ford’s debut, ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, I was eagerly anticipating ‘Songs of Willow Frost’, another story set in Seattle. William Eng is a Chinese-American boy living in an orphanage. Whilst William has always assumed his mother is dead, when he sees an actress in the cinema he knows that it is his beloved Ah-ma. Moving between William and movie star Willow Frost’s narrative, we begin to understand the struggles that befall William and the even more harrowing events that led Willow to give up her only son.

Overall I found this novel to be an illuminating insight into what life could be like for some in early Chinatown. Even though the setting is portrayed vividly and the main story intriguing, it seemed a little empty at times and I felt somewhat removed from the characters unlike Ford’s earlier work. Ultimately I am glad I read this book but it just didn't live up to my very high expectations.

Thanks to Lovereading for the pre-publication review copy.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A fascinating tale from an area & era which is so well portrayed in this book. Following the lives of the main characters , William & his mother , known publicly as Willow Frost, we encounter deprivation on a personal & social level which gives the reader an insight into lives & times long gone. It's a beautifully written book & one that the reader will not easily forget.
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I loved Jamie Ford’s debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, and so was very much looking forward to reading his new novel, and I found it another very special story, with a fascinating setting and period, and a very engaging pair of main characters in William Eng and Liu Song, or Willow Frost. They both have a lot to overcome in their lives, are subject to poverty and prejudices, and suffer many losses.

It’s 1934, in Seattle, when we meet twelve-year-old William at Sacred Heart Orphanage, run by nuns for orphans or children who have been left there temporarily, some parents do return eventually, others do not. William is American, of Chinese descent. He has a couple of good friends there, Charlotte, and Sunny. It is Charlotte, a blind girl, with whom he shares the closest friendship, and they plot together to leave the home one day; after a previous trip to the city when William saw a movie featuring Willow Frost, he believes she is actually his mother, and determines to find her.

The story takes us back to 1921 and introduces us to Liu Song, a young woman whose mother is very ill and weak, and her mother’s unkind second husband, known as Uncle Leo. Liu Song’s own late father, and her mother, were once actors, loving to perform, and she realises she wants to follow in their footsteps. But there are so many barriers, such cruelty, she suffers sadness and pain in her life. We learn of what she has been through, so that when new happiness seems to be possible, when she meets a kind man, she is scared to believe in it: 'She hesitated to hope and dream, unsure if she could take another loss - even a rejection seemed far beyond her capacity to endure.'

For both William and Liu Song, there are highs and lows as they struggle through their lives.
Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars A page turner 19 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The characters and story came to life as the story unfolded. The strength of the bond between mother and son was heart warming.
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Set in Seattle in both the booming Jazz Age and the harrowing Great Depression, ‘Songs of Willow Frost’ is a beautiful and heart wrenching story about guilt, sacrifice and love.
William Eng lives at Sacred Heart Orphanage, and at the age of 12 and being of Chinese descent, has given up all hope of being adopted. Only his adventurous but haunted best friend Charlotte eases his knowledge of his fate.
On the group birthday trip to downtown Seattle, William sees his mother on the silver screen and wonders why, if she is alive and well, famous even, she has not come back for him.
The writing is melodic and occasionally ruthless. The importance of family and history, but also friendship and cultural adjustment underline this stunning tale of a son and his mother. I loved it. I think it would make a fantastic reading group choice as well, as there are so many concurrent themes and emotions to talk about
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read
A great book with some thoughtful incites into life during the war in the US amid the Chinese and Japanese.
Published 4 months ago by Mrs Miriam Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Very much enjoyed Jamie Ford's second book, and can't wait for any future books he writes.
He is able to switch between his 2 narratives without confusing the reader (I've... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Alison Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
I couldn't put this down. After reading ''On the corner of bitter and sweet' I was hooked on this author. Another sad but sweet story from Jamie Ford. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. Veronica Richmond
4.0 out of 5 stars a story of thirties Chinatown
Well written, dating a bit difficult to follow but a sympathetic story of love and hope. Chinese traditions explained well.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Success for Jamie Ford
The story is set in Seattle in the 1920s and the era of Depression. William Eng is a Chinese-American boy who has spent the last five years in the Sacred Heart Orphanage. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lincs Reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Seattle in the early 1900s
This was an interesting view into two eras of American history, as seen from the point of view of an American born Chinese girl and her estranged son. Read more
Published 9 months ago by DubaiReader
4.0 out of 5 stars "beautiful melancholy will always be my writing partner"
3.5/5 Jamie Ford's debut novel, The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a phenomenal success, topping bestseller list everywhere. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Luanne Ollivier
3.0 out of 5 stars Songs of Willow Frost
Having enjoyed the author's previous book I was so disappointed in this. "The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" was captivating and held my interest. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. Daphne Birt
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