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Jane's Melody: A Novel Paperback – April 8, 2014

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

When 40-year-old Jane loses her daughter, Melody, to an overdose due to the girl’s longtime drug addiction, Jane is emotionally cast adrift and eagerly latches onto anything that may help her better understand her daughter’s last days, including 25-year-old Caleb, a homeless street musician. Believing at first that Caleb was her daughter’s boyfriend, Jane improbably takes the young stranger under her wing and invites him into her home as a paid laborer for a garden project. As they unravel truths about one another, they also allow love to rise, and it entangles them in a sexy, heartfelt romance. Jane’s struggle with her family’s history of addiction and abuse finds some relief in the comforting arms and mature mind of Caleb, who has his own demons to fight but is mostly simply there as the ultimate romance hero for Jane. An engaging read filled with bona fide emotions, despite also containing a jumble of plot clichés, consistent overtelling, and a reliance on hackneyed sentences. --Julie Trevelyan


"Envy!! Ryan Winfield has written a shockingly hot and sweet love story. Jane's Melody is both an escape and an utter joy." (Elin Hilderbrand New York Times bestselling author)

"An achingly beautiful story about the pain of loss and the healing power of love.” (Carly Phillips New York Times bestselling author)

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Reprint edition (April 8, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476771235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476771236
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,662 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #514,124 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ryan Winfield is the New York Times bestselling author of "Falling For June," "Jane's Melody" and "Jane's Harmony", "South of Bixby Bridge", and "The Park Service Trilogy". He lives in Seattle, and you can connect with him at facebook.com/ryanwinfield.

From the author:

I've been asked why I write. I write because I remember.

I remember waking up to snow. Great buckets of it poured from the gray skies and blanketing everything in quiet white. I remember racing to dress, struggling with my boots. "Here, don't forget your mittens." I remember the soft thump of that first footstep in the cold and virgin powder, the tracks looking back, foghorns blowing on the mist-covered bay. I feel the canvas paper bag cutting into my shoulders, the weight of Sunday's headlines heavy on my mind. I see the trees bowed with armloads of white, as if to curtsey my passing. I remember rubber bands and ink stained hands. A car spun sideways in a ditch. Always a car. Then barking dogs, a distant chainsaw. Freckles throwing fastballs that hurt for the cold of them on my neck. I remember snowmen, and igloos, and icy trails through the white and wondrous woods. And I remember sweet Mrs. Johnson waiting at her door. The smell of Avon powder, her thin smile, an envelope pressed into my palm--ten dollars and a peppermint candy cane thank you. Evening now. I remember running downtown--Salvation Army bells, white lights strung in sidewalk trees, bundled shoppers bent against the wind. I remember the heavy door, the warmth, the wood. The bookstore! Smells of paper and leather and ink. Walls of worlds bound and waiting for me to read.

Nothing has affected me as much as reading has. Dickens, Tolkien, and Lewis raised me. And while I've walked through my own hell, made my own mistakes, and found my own redemption, always there have been books. Books to help me escape, books to teach me when to stay and fight, books to help me see where I've been wrong and where I've been right.

I write because I remember. And I write because I still dream.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 139 people found the following review helpful By Nickinic - Ebooks Galore on June 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Please note, I'm writing this review with tears in my eyes. As with everything this author writes, I was enthralled. Up late last night, reading all day. This book has become my favorite of everything he's written. A deep touching story that any person will enjoy. The depth of pain in all the characters is felt throughout. Dealing with loss, alcoholism, love and moving on, Jane's Melody brings to you a heart wrenching story of a mother losing her daughter. Meeting Caleb, she felt she had one last link to a daughter she had lost long before her death, he shows her how to move on, and become alive again.

I can't say I've read any other book that had me crying like this. The last 15% of my phone has me feeling like my heart was ripped from my chest, but in such a good way. The life and story of Jane will make you smile, laugh and if it doesn't make you cry, then you are a stronger person than I. I don't want to spoil any of the story for you, so I'll just leave you with this. You have got to read this book. If you are a mother, a daughter, a friend, a man, it doesn't matter who you are, you have to read this book.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Sor on October 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition

"Death is just the moment that your hourglass runs out of sand. That's it. It happens to everyone eventually. All any of us gets to decide is where the sand falls."

An unconventional and stunning love story about a grieving 40 years old mother, Jane, wanting some connection to her deceased daughter's life. After Melody's death Jane finds Caleb, her daughter's boyfriend. Grieving is difficult for Jane, who had a strained relationship with her daughter. She finds solace in helping Caleb. An unexpected and endearing relationship evolves between them.

"it would be wrong, wouldn't it?"
"You have to decide that, dear."
"Some people are just off limits."
"That's true if you believe it."

This beautiful story touched my heart in so many ways. The love between Jane and Caleb did not feel inappropriate to me throughout the entire book. I never think in terms of 'wrong' and 'right', that is not for me to decide. I enjoyed both characters equally. Jane is a strong, independent woman. She has learned from life, from her own mistakes as well as from the mistakes of other family members. Grieving is very personal, and I admire the way Jane, while still questioning her own grieving process, kept going. She fought through insecurities and gave herself a chance to move on. Never letting the world's perception of situations affecting her course of life.

As for Caleb's character, I could write an entire love letter about him. He's very mature for his 24 years and the sweetest guy. He loves taking care of people who are important to him. Caleb stole my heart from the beginning. He's sweet, smart, and dirty sexy! How can I not adore him?

What boundaries would you cross for love?
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122 of 135 people found the following review helpful By Robin Landry TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 24, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There is nothing better than settling into a great book. It's like entering a world where you get to be the heroine, meet the handsome prince and live happily ever after.

Well, not always, but Jane's Melody is like taking warm, scented bubble bath while drinking a good red wine to wash down a piece of dark chocolate. Mmm . . . Not only does Ryan Winfield write a great story, but his writing is like an expensive luxury car that's beautiful and functional, making the ride all that much better. And what a ride Jane's Melody is. Think 50 Shades of Gray for the woman of a certain age.

The story starts off Jane, a woman burying her twenty year-old daughter who lost her battle with substance abuse. As Jane gets back into her car, she watches as a stranger stands at her daughter's grave, in the rain and places a silver dollar on the newly turned earth.

Jane finds the young man playing guitar outside the coffee shop where her daughter once worked and the story develops from there.

The way Winfield gets inside Jane's head is really amazing considering he's a man. This is writer who really understands women, and the passages of Jane's grief over her daughter's death are so spot on, that I have to wonder if Winfield has had a similar event happen in his life.

Here's a sample of his poetic writing. "She(Jane) knew the coming spring would see the grass take root again, sealing Melody forever beneath it in a patient world belonging only to the dead." Loc. 51 of 4233

And this passage of Jane's thoughts after leaving the cemetery. "For everyone else it was just another day." Loc. 149 of 4233 This is what it feels like when your world has been shattered by the worse thing you can imagine happening.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By J. Newby on June 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the best books I've read all year! Oh...I LOVED this one! The whole premise of the story grabbed me from the get-go. 40 year old grieving mother falls for 24/25 year old "old soul". The writing is beautiful. I experienced so many emotions while reading. I couldn't put it down. There is so much beauty in this book. There are some hot scenes that I was so impressed with! I loved reading a romance written by a man because I think it's very rare for a male author to nail it, but Ryan definitely did! I was a blubbering mess at some points and as happy as could be in others. I really really loved this book and I hope Ryan writes more in this genre. This is my favorite by him so far. His others are great too, but this is his niche (in my opinion)! I can honestly say that I will reread this book over and over throughout my life. I love it that much.
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Jane's Melody: A Novel
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