Ally and Charlotte were at university together, and Charlotte is now married to Ally's ex-boyfriend. As a result, Ally and Charlotte are not particularly close, but when, in a twist of fate, both women find themselves together in the Relatives' Room at the local hospital, they must face up to what has happened previously, because what happens in the hospital will shape both their lives forever.
Prior to reading Our Song, I'd heard a lot of (good) things about Dani Atkins, and now I see why. Her storytelling is exquisite, and I enjoyed the way the tension built over the novel as we waited (in the same way Ally and Charlotte did) for news of their husbands' respective conditions. Atkins uses flashbacks to show the reader how Ally and Charlotte’s relationship reached its present state, and although at times, this could be difficult to follow, I enjoyed the way this technique contributed to the tension in the novel. As the flashback scenes make the history between the women clearer, there are some twists in the novel, and these kept me interested in the characters as the novel progressed.
Atkins’ characterisation is also brilliant. Although at first I found it difficult to warm to the two central characters, particularly Charlotte, this became easier as information about their lives became clearer, especially information that although made known to the reader, was not evident to other characters. The supporting characters were more relatable (I liked Max, and his sarcasm provided welcome respite from such a serious subject matter) and I felt that their response to Ally and Charlotte’s situations allowed the reader to consider how they would react and connect emotionally with the novel.
I am not afraid to admit that the ending of Our Song made me cry. It is very rare that a book does this to me, and it will stay with me for a long time to come.
Our Song is available on Amazon.