Daily Review: Comfort Songs by Kimberly Fish
January 11, 2020
Kimberly’s writing style brings clarity to the machinations haunting three generations of women from the same family.
From the award-winning author of Comfort Plans, Kimberly Fish delivers a novel about family, forgiveness, and the seeds of second chances.
Eight years ago, Autumn Joy Worthington, still reeling from the bitter divorce of her Grammy-Award-winning parents, endured the betrayal of a man who’d promised her a wedding.
Running from pain seemed the logical response. Reinventing herself in Comfort, Texas, as a lavender grower, she creates a wildly successful gardening haven that draws in tourists and establishes an identity far removed from her parents’ fame.
Her mother’s retirement from stardom inspires AJ to offer her refuge and nurse the dream that they could move past old hurts and the tarnish of the music industry … to find friendship.
A grandmother in the early stages of dementia, and the return of AJ’s father complicate the recovery, but nothing sets the fragile reality spinning like the arrival of Nashville music executive, Luke English.
As Alzheimer’s slowly knocks away the filters of their family, AJ comes to appreciate the true meanings of love and forgiveness, and that the power of redemption can generate from the most unlikely sources.
When AJ uncovers the grit to make hard choices, she also discovers that the flowers that bloom the brightest can have the most tangled roots.
By Sybrina Durant
Everyone has a backstory. And as you read Comfort Songs by Kimberly Fish, it is easy to envision how the lives of those who have gone before us can have so much influence on what makes each of us who we are today.
Strong work ethics, stubbornness, soft-heartedness, the need to control, the desire to create and so many other personality traits are tightly woven into the strands of our DNA. It seems, our ancestors can have stronger influences on the way we live and breathe and perceive than we are ever aware of.
Ms. Fish has a unique way of finding that intricate balance between the past and the now. Her writing style brings clarity to the machinations haunting three generations of women from the same family.
The way the stories of AJ, July, Inez and even the dour, loveless woman in the black dress were woven together made the events at the lavender farm in the little town of Comfort, Texas vibrate in my own psyche.
There was so much love . . . and animosity swirling in the backgrounds of mother, daughter, and grandmother. The humiliation, pride, pain, and suffering almost overshadowed the love and compassion that each one wanted so desperately to be capable of expressing.
Like it is for AJ’s mother July, songwriting is also a passion of mine. So, it is easy for me to understand her overwhelming need to write and sing to express her feelings and views of the world. But since I also now have a little bit of the wisdom that comes with age, I can also commiserate with July’s daughter, who is achingly tired of seeing her mother suffer through the trials and tribulations that come with maneuvering through the roller-coaster life of a country music star.
AJ just wants to save her mother from all of that . . . and possibly from herself, too. The thing is…AJ’s notions about how to accomplish such a feat simply do not mesh with July’s, especially after Luke’s arrival on the scene threatens to swoop the aging star back into the music world.
This is such a good book filled with so much emotional depth that many times, it was hard to keep reading through the flow of tears. Not all of those tears were sorrowful, though. Sometimes, it was because I was so struck with emotion by the writer’s flawless ability to give lucidity to a tender moment.
Contrary to how it may appear in the previous paragraphs, Comfort Songs is a wonderfully sweet love story between AJ and Luke that fills one with hope for the future. It takes place in a colorful backdrop of lavender fields, golden sunrises and moonlit nights that are full of the heartbeat of music.
I love that there are no cringe-worthy moments in this beautifully written clean romance. I highly recommend it for readers of all ages.
By KayBee’s Bookshelf
The story was one of family, forgiveness and for me hope. AJ (Autumn Joy), our protagonist, had to learn how to forgive, how to let her family be, and how to let love and hope back into her life. She had the unimaginable burden of caring for a grandparent who was dealing with the early onset of dementia and being the referee between parents that were not fit to carry the title.
The author did a good job bringing me into the story from the onset via AJ’s point of view. I had not read the previous novels in the Comfort series. However, I think Fish did a great job of developing the characters.
I didn’t feel that I missed anything when it came to who the characters were or their motivations. Even with the supporting characters like Kali & Jake that appeared in a companion novella, I felt I knew them as well. I loved the way the town of Comfort rallied around AJ to give her the love and support she did not receive from her parents growing up.
The way the town’s people looked out for Inez with love and a touch of humor was moving as well. I found humor each time Inez’s sharp humor lashed out with all the frankness only she could deliver.
I think the story flowed well for the most part. However, the only thing that gave me pause was the structure when it came to the amount of time it took telling Inez’s story.
I kept asking what the importance of it was. Why was her relationship with July so tense? However, when it did finally come together, I had an “aha” moment and it all made sense.
I saw so much of myself in AJ’s character that at times it was painful to read. The most powerful line in this story was ” They had to break up to collaborate with each other.” This was a huge lesson that Roger and July had to learn.
I would recommend this story for anyone who needs a little help and maybe a little direction on how to regain their sense of self. I think we could all use a lesson from Lavender Hill. Maybe, we too will be lucky enough to find our Comfort Song.
Please click HERE to find Comfort Songs on Amazon.