Book Review: The Lost Melody by Joanna Davidson Politano

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Rating: 5 out of 5.


I received a very special edition version of this book in my Once Upon a Book Club Box, which you can read more about HERE.

What an amazing read this one was! Vivienne is a very talented pianist that has not had the easiest life. Her father was a ruthless and vile man, treating Vivienne harshly and keeping her from enjoying her life. But after he dies, she feels like she can finally breathe a little easier. That is until she’s informed that her father left being a ward that was in his care and this ward, a woman that Vivienne recognizes only from her dreams, is living in an asylum.

“Some patients exhibit behavior that necessitates a return to more . . . barbaric methods.”

The Lost Melody

With her own dreams put aside for a bit, Vivienne goes undercover using a false name and obtains employment at said asylum in hopes of finding the woman that her father had been responsible for. All of the staff deny she even exists and that it must have been a paperwork mistake.

Vivienne’s journey through Hurstwell Asylum is a story about the depths of spiritual strength and how we are the only ones that can remove the darkness that surrounds us. Vivienne could have easily let life completely break her, but instead her trust in higher spiritual guidance leads her to a far better life than she ever could have imagined. Freeing herself of the pain she’s held in her heart and letting her be who she was meant to be.

All at once the swell of peace I’d experienced grew clear – it was his presence, there all along. Waiting for me to step into it. To acknowledge it for what it was – a blessed sweetness permeating the cold stone walls, the bars, the discouragement that had polluted my heart.

The Lost Melody

These gains are not without the challenge of the darkness that surrounds Hurstwell, but everything that Vivienne experiences within these tormented walls, displays the inner strength that lives within all of us. We have to be willing to face the darkness and bring out the light, even when it feels like too much. A compassionate and thrilling story that is sure to ring in my soul for a long time to come. Filled with classical music references that any fan of historical fiction would adore, you’ll absolutely love this one!



When concert pianist Vivienne Mourdant’s father dies, he leaves to her the care of an adult ward she knew nothing about. The woman is supposedly a patient at Hurstwell Asylum. The woman’s portrait is shockingly familiar to Vivienne, so when the asylum claims she was never a patient there, Vivienne is compelled to discover what happened to the figure she remembers from childhood dreams.

The longer she lingers in the deep shadows and forgotten towers at Hurstwell, the fuzzier the line between sanity and madness becomes. She hears music no one else does, receives strange missives with rose petals between the pages, and untangles far more than is safe for her to know. But can she uncover the truth about the mysterious woman she seeks? And is there anyone at Hurstwell she can trust with her suspicions?

Fan-favorite Joanna Davidson Politano casts a delightful spell with this lyrical look into the nature of women’s independence and artistic expression during the Victorian era–and now.


Joanna Davidson Politano freelances for a small nonfiction publisher but spends much of her time spinning tales that capture the colorful, exquisite details in ordinary lives. Her debut novel, Lady Jayne Disappears, releases October 3 from Revell. She lives with her husband and their two babies in a house in the woods and shares stories that move her at

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