THE SONGBOOK OF BENNY LAMENT
Publication date: March 16, 2021 by Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical, Fiction, Romance
Recommended for ages: +16
From the bestselling author of What the Wind Knows and From Sand and Ash comes a powerful love story about a musical duo who put everything on the line to be together.
New York, 1960: For Benny Lament, music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the Bronx piano man has learned that love and family can get you in trouble. So he keeps to himself, writing songs for other musicians, avoiding the spotlight…until the night his father brings him to see Esther Mine sing.
Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and performs it with her, their collaboration thrusts the duo onto the national stage…and stirs up old issues and new scrutiny that the mob—and Benny—would rather avoid.
It would be easier to walk away. But the music and the woman are too hard for the piano man to resist. Benny’s songs and Esther’s vocals are an explosive combination, a sound that fans can’t get enough of. But though America might love the music they make together, some people aren’t ready for Benny Lament and Esther Mine on—or off—the stage.
"Utter perfection. The diversity. The inclusivity. The representation of an interracial couple in the 60s, but more importantly the struggle of a Black woman trying to make it in a world that doesn't want any good for her. This is a must read."
— Shanora Williams, New York Times bestselling author
"With a vibrant backdoor view to the New York music scene in the 60s, Harmon constructs authentic, enduring characters that will capture your heart and break it too. Elegantly written, with sensitivity to the racial hurdles of the era, this book is a work of historical fiction that will absolutely not be forgotten."
-- EmmyB, host of the Lovely Books Podcast
"A truly incredible read. Amy Harmon has a way of writing characters that invoke deep emotion, and Benny and Esther are no exception. A raw, real, and inspiring love story."
-- DC Renee, author of SCRUBBED
"Wildly beautiful. Amy Harmon blew me away again. Everyone should read this book."
-- LJ Evans, IAN Award Winning author
"The story is enlightening, heart-breaking, and ultimately inspiring as these two beautiful characters find the soul of what it truly means to be human and love. Powerful writing, enthralling reading!"
— TJ Mackay, founder and publisher of InD’tale Magazine
"Amy’s stories are always deeply addictive and transporting, but beyond that, her compassion and insight into the human experience raises her work to another level completely. She is in a class of her own."
— Mia Sheridan, New York Times bestselling author
"The Songbook of Benny Lament is typical of Harmon’s style: fluid, elegant, and filled with grace. A must read of 2021 and beyond."
— Emma Scott, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author