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The Songbook of Benny Lament

Updated: Apr 30, 2021



Title: The Songbook of Benny Lament

Author: Amy Harmon

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Genre: Historical Fiction


“You know how change happens? You show people what it looks like. We’re showing people what it looks like for whites and coloreds to be together. Even if it’s just together on stage.”


The Songbook of Benny Lament takes place in the Bronx in the 1960s and is about growing up in the Italian Mob, the racial divides of that era, and sweet sweet music.


“Their music will change the world.”


For Benny Lament music is his entire life. With his father’s deep ties to the mob, the piano man/songwriter has learned that love and family can get you in trouble.


“But there’s no such thing as good guys and bad guys. There’s just people. And everybody is rotten inside. Some are more rotten that others, and some just aren’t rotten yet. But eventually, we all get a little ripe, ya know what I’m sayin’? We all have dark spots.”


Esther is a petite powerhouse with a gorgeous voice. And when Benny writes a hit song and preforms 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.


“We’re friends, Baby Ruth. I’m your friend, I’m your man, and I’m your biggest goddamn fan.”


Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ All the stars! All the freaking stars! I loved this book so much. It was so well done. #sorrynotsorry for all the quotes but if you haven’t read an Amy Harmon book yet I needed you too see what a lyrical masterpiece she writes! You need to see how brave she is to tell the stories she tells! I’m working through Amy’s backlist, but she’s for sure an auto-buy author for me!


I read this one with my Historical Fiction Book Club and between DMs, Discord chat, mid chat and final chat I couldn’t stop saying words like: this book is captivating, this book is magical, I’m under Benny & Esther’s spell, oh my heart, and so on and so on.


I got to do a zoom with Amy Harmon and she was so inspiring. And did you know she sang gospel with Gladys Knight for seven years!? Gladys was one of her many inspirations for this book! Mind blown!!!


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