Comfort Songs Cover

Comfort Songs

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COMFORT SONGS
a companion novel to Comfort Plans
by
KIMBERLY FISH
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Fish Tales, LLC
Date of Publication: September 19, 2019
Number of Pages: 348
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Comfort Songs book cover

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.

Bookstagram: stacked copies of Comfort Songs
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Bookstagram: paperback edition of Comfort Songs overlaid on a purple electric guitar.
Bookstagram photo courtesy of Maida Malby.
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Clueless Gent’s Rating

5 star rating

Comfort Songs is a wonderful story! Kimberly Fish is a seasoned professional when it comes to crafting stories that cling to your heart, yet provide enough action (and other stuff) to keep all readers interested and entertained. With that mindset, I can say this novel did not disappoint me.

This novel, in particular, touches on some things not often included in fiction. One of those things is a character showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Although this character is not the main character, the story is clear about how that family member’s symptoms impact the other characters.

We also get an inkling – in hindsight – of the rise and fall of a country singing duo, and its impact on a family. Again, they are not the main characters, but the story is clear about their impact on the main character.

I found it interesting how Fish managed to include several different (yet related) storylines into a single work of fiction, and keep all of them moving and intertwining until the very end.

The Setting and Characters of Comfort Songs

large field of purple lavender, with a backdrop of green forest
Photo of a typical lavender field

Although this is a work of fiction, the setting is quasi-real. The town of Comfort, Texas, really exists. It’s situated between Kerrville and Boerne, northwest of San Antonio and smack in the middle of the Texas Hill Country. This is within one of the most scenic areas in Texas, and I thought it made a wonderful backdrop for this story.

The main character is a young woman who has one of the greenest thumbs ever. She created a business from growing fields of lavender (and some other things). Immediately, our mind sees the beautiful lavender and smells the scent. I can’t think of a better backdrop for this story.

AJ – the young woman – has some deep emotional scars, from both her family and love interests. Thus, she immerses herself completely in her lavender fields. However, when her divorced parents, her paternal grandmother, and a stranger with professional ties to country music all converge on her at once – it’s like the perfect storm for disaster.

In addition to AJ, all of the prominent characters are also deeply flawed. The backstories are deep. One of the backstories is an entire subplot with its own chapters. However, there’s really no “padding” to the backstories. But that’s a good thing. We’re only told what we need to know to understand the character’s current state.

Technically Speaking

There were a few very minor SPAG things, but I attribute that more to the conversion process of PDF to MOBI.

With deep and emotional backstories, the huge character arcs are to be expected. However, not all of the arcs are completely predictable. One of these arcs isn’t actually finalized until the very end of the story.

I touched on it before. The pacing in this story is wonderful. There are several things going on simultaneously, in addition to that major subplot, yet everything keeps moving along at similar pace.

There is an epilogue. I love epilogues! Bravo, Kimberly Fish. After spending time with these wonderful characters, I enjoyed reading about what happened next.

This is such a wonderful story that I’ll probably read it again at some point. I don’t do that very often.

If I still haven’t convinced you that this story and these characters are worthy of your time, did I mention that great gardening tips are included at the beginning of most chapters?

I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.
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Kimberly Fish Author Photo

Kimberly Fish is a professional writer with almost thirty years of media experience. She’s been telling stories far longer. She published her first novel, a WWII historical fiction novel, because of a true story in her adopted hometown that was too good to ignore. She quickly followed that success with a sequel. Since then, she’s continued writing fiction and added a contemporary second-chance romance series set in Comfort, Texas, to her list of fun, fast-paced novels. Kimberly lives with her family in East Texas.
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