The latest novel by Joanna Biggar.
Set in the era of Woodstock and Watergate, Melanie’s Song centers on a young woman’s mysterious disappearance, and on her friend’s determined search for her.
Melanie, who fled her marriage to a straight-laced classical musician in order to hitch-hike to Woodstock and San Francisco, was last seen at a commune in the California hills. Rumors abound: that she took up with a Black radical; that she had his child; that she and her lover, armed, ran a bank heist a la Patty Hearst; that she developed a mystical gift for spiritual healing; that she died in a possible accidental, possibly staged commune fire.
Trying to sift truth from invention pulls her friend, the young reporter, J.J., into the underbelly of the sexual and social revolutions of the 60s and early 70s, where she encounters corrupt cops, paranoid hippies, activists, mystics, drug-runners,and most astonishingly, Melanie’s own parents. Risking her job, her connections, her life, J.J. follows Melanie’s trail, determined to find out what happened to her once-compliant friend now turned, it seems, into a rebel angel.
On Melanie’s Song
“Joanna Biggar explored Paris as a post-adolescent during the distant Age of Kennedy in That Paris Year. Now she explores the backwaters of American revolutionary culture during the so-called Summer of Love in Melanie’s Song. With wit and aplomb, Biggar reminds readers that love may be free but has its consequences. A poet and journalist, when she turns her talents to storytelling, the result is a page-turning novel where mystery meets self-invention. Voila! C’est formidable!”
—David Downie, author of A Passion for Paris and The Gardener of Eden
“In Melanie’s Song, Joanna Biggar takes you on an amazing ride of mystery and suspense. Personal turbulence is masterfully set against the reality of the politics of the 1960s and ’70s in the USA. Her writing, both crisp and lyrical, draws you into each scene with tempting detail. Of course, there are those earlier memories of Paris. It’s quite a trip.”
—Diane LeBow, President Emerita, Bay Area Travel Writers
“This novel is like a sweetly familiar refrain from the not-so-distant past. Nostalgic, redolent with the sights and sounds of the 1960s and ’70s, it is a tale of broken hearts, healing friendships, and the tender yet powerful bonds that friendships forge. It is a bittersweet delight.”
—Patricia Bracewell, author of Shadow on the Crown and The Price of Blood