THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN by Susanna Hoffs 

From the publisher:

A delightfully funny and steamy debut novel about music, fate, redemption, and love from beloved songwriter and Bangles co-founder Susanna Hoffs that is “part British romcom, part Jane Eyre, and one hundred percent enjoyable” (Tom Perrotta).

“A total knockout . . . The smart, ferocious rock-star redemption romance you didn’t know you needed.” —New York Times Book Review

Jane Start is thirty-three, broke, and recently single. Ten years prior, she had a hit song—written by world-famous superstar Jonesy—but Jane hasn’t had a breakout since. Now she’s living out of four garbage bags at her parents’ house, reduced to performing to Karaoke tracks in Las Vegas. Rock bottom.

But when her longtime manager Pippa sends Jane to London to regroup, she’s seated next to an intriguing stranger on the flight—the other Tom Hardy, an elegantly handsome Oxford professor of literature. Jane is instantly smitten by Tom, and soon, truly inspired. But it’s not Jane’s past alone that haunts her second chance at stardom, and at love. Is Tom all that he seems? And can Jane emerge from the shadow of Jonesy’s earlier hit, and into the light of her own?

In turns deeply sexy, riotously funny, and utterly joyful, This Bird Has Flown explores love, passion, and the ghosts of our past, and offers a glimpse inside the music business that could only come from beloved songwriter Susanna Hoffs.

“Clever and entertaining . . . with an insider’s feel for the mixed blessings of pop fame​.” —Los Angeles Times

“A sweet and tender romance—and a valentine to music.” —NPR

“In this sexy, page-turning treat, Susanna Hoffs writes as engagingly as she sings.” —Helen Fielding

The old adage, “write what you know” proves out here in this debut novel from Susanna Hoffs. If the name is familiar, that’s because she co-founded The Bangles, with monster hits like Manic Monday and Walk Like an Egyptian. (And they did a guest spot on the Gilmore Girls!) I always find it interesting that creative people in one field are also creative in others, like Tony Bennett and his painting, and now Susanna Hoffs and her debut novel.

The main character is Jane Start, who had a one hit wonder a decade earlier of a cover she did of a little known song from a huge star, Jonesy. She is on her way to England to meet with her best friend/manager, Pippa. But first she has to get through this flight – Jane is not a fan of flying. When her seatmate, Tom, realizes the issue, he is there for her, holding her hand. The more they talk, the more Jane finds herself totally into this Brit, and he seems pretty into her as well. Tom is a professor at Oxford and doesn’t really have a clue who she is, which Jane likes.

Jane doesn’t hear from him for a couple of weeks, but when she does, things start moving very fast – she moves in with him a couple of weeks later. Then Pippa tells Jane that Jonesy wants her to sing on the opening night of his new tour, Jane is almost paralyzed with fear. It’s been too long since she performed in a venue like that. And when Jonesy keeps putting off the rehearsal and there’s no sound check, she really is freaking out.

Meanwhile, Jane is getting to know some of his colleagues at Oxford, and finds out about his former girlfriend, who apparently was perfect. But she doesn’t want to discuss her past relationships, so things get a bit muddled and jealously rears its ugly head. Jane ends things with Tom, but he doesn’t give up that easily. Eventually they find their happy ending, just when I was ready to give up on them!

This was a fascinating look at the inside of the music industry, and a terrific romance as well. Highly recommend – don’t miss it!

5/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THIS BIRD HAS FLOWN by Susanna Hoffs. Little, Brown and Company (April 4, 2023). ISBN:‎ 978-0316409315. 368p.





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