For Jillian King, a young aspiring pianist, to play Liszt at Carnegie Hall is to reach her lifelong dream. But a tragic accident at a New York subway station damages her hand and takes away her only chance.
Lost Melody , a new inspirational historical fiction novel by Lori Copeland  and Virginia Smith , depicts the life of Jillian after the accident as she picks up the pieces of her life. Disheartened and depressed, Jill keeps mostly to herself and avoids the world around her. Her doctor believes that she has suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jill’s boyfriend, Greg, a local politician, asks Jill to marry him. With the help of Jill’s grandmother and a group of elderly friends, the elaborate, exciting wedding plans are put in place. But at night, Jill continues to have the same recurring nightmares. In her dreams, a large-scale and devastating disaster hits her hometown and causes thousands to lose their lives. Jill must step up and warn the people of this looming destruction.
Will she risk her reputation, her fiancé’s rising political career, and their future together? Jill needs enough courage to follow what’s in her mind. Jill questions her own sanity, but what if the dream becomes real?
Set in a fictional coastland town in Nova Scotia, Lost Melody is inspired by a real historical event, the Halifax Explosion , which took place in 1917. During World War 1, Halifax Harbor became a gateway of flourishing trade and prosperity. Before Christmas of the same year the French ship Mont-Blanc, loaded with explosive chemicals, collided with the Imo, a Norwegian ship. The crash caused fire and a gigantic explosion that subsequently triggered a tsunami. Almost 2,000 died and thousands were injured. The Halifax Explosion is called “the biggest manmade explosion” before the nuclear age.
Lost Melody is story-within-the-story fiction. The characters refer to the Halifax Explosion that happened years before. Reading this novel, I kept asking myself, “Will history repeat itself?” I couldn’t wait so I skipped to the end and read the last few pages first. Copeland excels in keeping the suspense throughout the story.
If you haven’t read books by veteran Missouri author Lori Copeland before, this is not the place to start. Even though the storyline is attention-getting, the characters in this book, except the heroine, are one-dimensional with predictable actions and thoughts. The love story between Greg and Jill is scant. Readers of this genre who judge from the book cover might expect more romance from this book but there is little interaction between Greg and Jill. Furthermore, the subplot is not fully developed; I am left wondering about Jill’s musical aspirations and whether she would use her talents again and become a successful concert pianist.
In a way, the central theme of Lost Melody has its validity. The novel challenges us to be courageous –to take a stand, even though our action might not be popular. Jill has to choose between saving her own reputation and saving lives. Being courageous takes sacrifice. Lost Melody will leave you something to think about after turning its last page.
About the Author
Sukalaya Kenworthy is a senior library assistant at the Westport Branch. To join the Inspirational Book Group, e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org  or call 816.701.3488 for more information. The group meets the third Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m.