Songs of Willow Frost

Songs of Willow Frost

Large Print - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
From Jamie Ford, the "New York Times" bestselling author of the beloved "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, "comes a 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.
Twelve-year-old William Eng, a Chinese American boy, has lived at Seattles Sacred Heart Orphanage ever since his mothers listless body was carried away from their small apartment five years ago. On his birthday--or rather, the day the nuns designate as his birthday--William and the other orphans are taken to the historical Moore Theatre, where William glimpses an actress on the silver screen who goes by the name of Willow Frost. Struck by her features, William is convinced that the movie star is his mother, Liu Song.
Determined to find Willow and prove that his mother is still alive, William escapes from Sacred Heart with his friend Charlotte. The pair navigate the streets of Seattle, where they must not only survive but confront the mysteries of Williams past and his connection to the exotic film star. The story of Willow Frost, however, is far more complicated than the Hollywood fantasy William sees onscreen.
Shifting between the Great Depression and the 1920s, "Songs of Willow Frost" takes readers on an emotional journey of discovery. Jamie Fords sweeping novel will resonate with anyone who has ever longed for the comforts of family and a place to call home.
Advance praise for "Songs of Willow Frost"
"Ford is a first-rate novelist whose bestselling debut, "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, "was a joy to read. With his new book, he takes a great leap forward and demonstrates the uncanny ability to move me to tears."--Pat Conroy, author of "South of Broad"
"This is a tender, powerful, and deeply satisfying story about the universal quest for love, forgiveness, belonging, and family. If you liked "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, "youre going to love "Songs of Willow Frost.""--Lisa Genova, author of "Still Alice"
"I could not turn away from the haunting story or the stunning historical details that bring Depression-era Seattle to cinematic life. Fords boundless compassion for the human spirit, in all its strengths and weaknesses, makes him one of our most unique and compelling storytellers."--Helen Simonson, author of "Major Pettigrews Last Stand"
"A beautiful novel . . . Williams journey is one youll savor, and then think about long after the book is closed. I loved it."--Susan Wiggs, author of "The Apple Orchard"
"One of those rare books that move right into your heart and stay there. Fords new--and long-awaited--book is a delight to read, and is destined to become a book-club favorite."--Anne Fortier, author of "Juliet"
"Ford has done it again, creating characters so full of passion and courage that we cannot help but follow them into the pages of history."--Jean Kwok, author of "Girl in Translation"
"Ford weaves another rich tapestry of history and family drama in this cliff-hanging tale of an abandoned boy and the Chinese American singer he is convinced is his missing mother. Hope and fate, laughs and tears: "Songs of Willow Frost" has it all."--Ivan Doig, author of "The Bartenders Tale"

"From the Hardcover edition."

Publisher: Detroit : Thorndike Press/Gale, Cengage Learning, 2013.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410462183
Characteristics: 527 pages ;,23 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 06, 2018

very good

CRRL_MegRaymond Feb 07, 2018

One a once-a-year outing to the movies, William swears the beautiful woman on the silver screen is his mother. The other orphans know this can't be true.

Sep 13, 2017

While Ford's first book was all but perfect, I found this one rather disappointing. Several times I almost gave up. Yet there was enough authenticity about the sad story of William and his mother Liu Song to keep me going. I kept wondering if their lives was really that dire, but by the end Ford had convinced me. Liu Song's choices really were very constricted, and she tried very hard to make the best of her life, because her greatest love was for her son, whoever his father was. The large print edition I read had some good readers' group discussion questions, that would, I suspect, spark some interesting conversation. The one about issues of abandonment, so strong in the book, and asking the reader to come up with contemporary examples, especially struck me. So not a bad book, just more depressing than "Bitter and Sweet," with a lot more bitter than sweet in this one.

Aug 16, 2017

a great moving story

Apr 24, 2017

I enjoyed Jamie Ford's first book, The Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and looked forward to reading this one, I was disappointed. I found it lacked the same authentic feeling of his first book.

Jun 19, 2014

Follows the son of a singer who gave him up to protect him. He and a female friend search for mother in Seattle, but imperils her in the finding.

Mar 29, 2014

So disappointing. Poorly written. Nothing like his first.

Jan 19, 2014

A Chinese boy William is left in a Seattle orphanage in the 1920s. In 1934, when he sees a poster advertising a variety show with a singer named Willow Frost, he believes it?s his mother. That begins his journey to discover who she is and why she left him.

Jamie Ford tells another wonderful story about families; what ties them together and tears them apart. It?s a cruel tale of what society thought morally right for young women bearing children out of wedlock. In the course of this one readers will also be immersed in 1930s Seattle?s Chinese community, Prohibition, the Great Depression and the changing world of the music and movie industry when radios came to people?s homes and movies became ?talkies.?

Dec 07, 2013

This tale is sadly so much like the Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. While the story is moving it is almost formulaically tragic and sentimental. The story lacked an authenticity that his first book had. I read it but found that I could skip ahead without missing much ( never a good sign).

paulette4317 Oct 30, 2013

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter & Sweet is one of my favorite books. This book is good, but I don't feel he wrote as well as he did with his first novel.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top