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Greatest Hits by Laura Barnett
Cass Wheeler – a British singer-songwriter, hugely successful since the early 70s, whose sudden disappearance from the music world three decades later has been the subject of intense speculation among her fans – is in the studio that adjoins her home, taking a journey back into her past. Her task is to choose 16 from among the hundreds she has written since her early teens, for a uniquely personal Greatest Hits record, describing the arc of her life through song. It has been over a decade since Cass last put out an album; ten years since a tragedy catapulted her into a breakdown. In the course of this one day – both ordinary and extraordinary – each song Cass plays sets off a chain of memories, leading us deep into her past, and into the creative impulse that has underpinned her work.
Fans of Laura Barnett’s debut novel “The Versions of Us” will welcome her second novel which is a very enjoyable read. However I did feel there are too many characters in the book which leads to the narrative feeling a bit muddled in places, particularly as it hops backwards and forward in time.
An audio book read by Imogen Church will also be available shortly and this features extracts from the album Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits by Kathryn Williams. Songs from the Novel Greatest Hits is available from One Little Indian Records.