Best-selling author Jamie Ford’s new novel, “Songs of Willow Frost” opens with a quote from Irving Berlin that beautifully sums up the sentiment of this moving book. “I lost the angel who gave me summer the whole winter through. I lost the gladness that turned to sadness, when I lost you.”
At twelve years of age, William Eng is the only Chinese-American in the Sacred Heart Orphanage in Seattle. He last saw his beloved mother when her limp body was carried from their tiny apartment five years previously. As she was carried out the door she looked at him and whispered “I’ll be right back.”
When the orphans are treated to a movie, a rare treat in depression-era 1934, William sees a beautiful singer and an advertisement for her upcoming appearance in Seattle. In spite of her glamorous makeup and beautiful clothes, he knows the woman is his mother, his Ah-ma.
If she is alive, why has she not returned for him? William and his best friend, Charlotte, plot to slip away from the orphanage to see Willow Frost’s show, and hopefully, to see Willow herself.
Will William be reunited with his mother? Or at least come to understand why she abandoned him?
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