Book Review: A Song For Ria by Michelle Shine


Talented composer Alison Connaught has spent her career writing music for big names, but when her actress daughter, Ria, dies from an overdose, Alison is numb and can no longer compose.

Haunted by the feeling that she has somehow let Ria down, Alison searches for answers, first during an intense stay with a Hopi shaman and then by travelling to Hollywood to try to piece together the many parts of Ria’s life that have so far eluded her. 

As she meets her daughter’s friends, colleagues and therapists, Alison finally begins to understand the realities of Ria’s life, opening the door to self expression and a different kind of music, inspired by stirred/raw feelings and the spirit of Ria.


Michelle Shine is a beautiful storyteller. After a few chapters in, I had to double check that this was indeed a work of fiction. Alison and Ria could very well have been real people for how realistic this story was.

I have to admit that I wasn’t in love with this book. I wasn’t able to relate to the characters and, truth be told, I got a little bored of the story by the end. However, it’s hard to deny that this is a moving book. Although I’m not a mother myself, I couldn’t not empathise with Alison. The author does a great job of portraying the heartbreak anyone in her situation would be going through.

While A Song For Ria wasn’t for me, I’m sure many will find this a wonderful book. Copies can be purchased here.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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