THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN by Susanna Hoffs

Since I fell for my future husband on a transatlantic flight, how could I resist a love story about a couple who meet on a plane to London? Or ignore the promise of parallels to Jane Eyre, my favorite novel?

Jane Start is a talented musician. Music is her oxygen and singing is a transformative experience. When she’s gearing up to hit the high notes, there’s only the calm sense of setting something free.

But her career peaked ten years earlier, when she rode to fame on a cover song. Shortly afterward, her second album bombed. Now she’s back living with her parents, her film-producer boyfriend left her for his leading lady, and she’s so broke that she’s performing at a bachelor party. To add further insult, one of her songs is about to be used in a toilet paper commercial.

She’s battling writer’s block, crippling stage fright, and racing thoughts that whisper she’s a fraud and a failure. Anxiety and insecurity consume her. She loves making music, hates the business, and has lost faith in her gift. (All those factors spoke to me.)

Then her agent gives her a plane ticket to England and the promise of a space to focus on composing. But by the time she arrives, her mind is stuck on the stranger who shared her transatlantic journey—an Oxford don called Tom Hardy. When he finally reaches out, things ignite quickly. But why did he wait two weeks? Is he keeping secrets? And what happened to the mysterious ex-girlfriend who haunts his life in Oxford?

Jane and Tom’s story is a heart-warming page-turner about learning from the past, overcoming fear to be the person you’ve always wanted to be, and trusting in the power of love. Insights into Jane’s thoughts and emotions as she’s singing or performing are a bonus. Did I mention that the author is a former member of the 1980s band, the Bangles?

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