The beloved singer-songwriter Cass Wheeler has abandoned retirement for one last chapter in her musical career. She assembles an album of greatest hits - the songs that mean the most to her, songs that she wrote during the brightest and darkest times in her life.
Each chapter springs from one of these songs. Told in tandem with the lyrics, this irresistible novel moves skillfully across episodes of a fascinating and sometimes tragic life - from Cass' lonely childhood, through her freewheeling rise to fame, to first love and loss.
Laura Barnett's clear-eyed writing vividly depicts the UK and US music scene of the 70's, with its mistakes and magic, and the lives that pass through it - is vividly painted, as is the artist behind the art. By the time she has selected the final song, Cass is confronted with one last choice: whether she can find the strength within herself to open her heart once more.
Greatest Hits is an enchanting novel that will capture and delight anyone who has discovered the rewards of music, or who has found strength and meaning in art.
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About the Author
Laura Barnett is an author, arts journalist, and theater critic. Her first book, Versions of Us, was a number-one best seller, and her award-winning short stories have been published in The Guardian, S (The Sunday Express), Stylist, and Read It Forward, and performed on BBC Radio 4. In 2017 she gave a TedX Talk on Originality in Fiction. She lives in London.
Praise for Laura Barnett
"Barnett masterfully pulls the reader through these alternating tales. Each option is compelling and believable." --BookPage
"Barnett's evocative presentation is a masterly romantic study of love's choices and consequences, leaving wide open just what constitutes a perfect ending." --Publishers Weekly
"Barnett weaves the myriad strains of her characters' lives into a cohesive and compelling whole. There is a natural flow to her writing, an eye for detail that brings even the most minor of characters to life...There is something of the masterful American writer in Barnett's style, in her domestic settings and her eye for the extraordinary in ordinary life." --The Irish Times
"Barnett explores romance in a realistic way, including obsession, insecurity, and sacrifice." --Chicago Review of Books
"Barnett's ability to turn normal lives into a sprawling, triumphant epic will leave readers excited to see what this brilliant newcomer does next...Barnett never stops at the sweet side of romance, instead stepping into the tough territories that can come with any marriage." --ShelfAwareness
Praise for Greatest Hits
"This engaging, emotionally charged novel about music, motherhood and mental illness deserves to be a hit." --The Observer
"Barnett has that rare talent, like Curtis Sittenfeld or Kate Atkinson, of building up the mundane aspects of everyday life until they acquire meaning." --The Times
"Unusually perceptive, a mixture of evocative detail and sharp reportage that feels fresh to read." --The Sunday Times
"Barnett's style is poetic, perceptive and so fully realised it reads like an exceptionally well-written biography of a real person. A fascinating, occasionally sobering, portrait of fame." --Daily Mail
"Barnett proves once again that she can master the art of storytelling and weave a complex, enticing plot." --The Independent
"This is a wonderful story - soulful, tender and full of hope." --Sunday Mirror
"Greatest Hits has a wisdom and a harmony that are satisfying." --The Guardian
"The overriding melody in this seductive novel is the pleasure and pain of living a creative life." --Sunday Express
"The 'Best Of' compilation can be a tricky thing to get right. [ . . . ] Laura Barnett takes on this balancing act in her expansive new novel, Greatest Hits, a musical bildungsroman structured around that familiar time capsule, the retrospective album."--The New York Times