Transworld Books 23rd January 2020 (Hardback)
We all remember the soundtrack to our first love.
Daniel was the first boy to make Alison a mix tape. But that was years ago and Ali hasn’t thought about him in a very long time. Even if she had, she might not have called him, ‘the one that got away’; she’d been the one to run away, after all.
Then Dan’s name pops up on her phone, with a link to a song from their shared past. For two blissful minutes, Alison is no longer an adult in Adelaide with temperamental daughters; she is sixteen in Sheffield, dancing in her too-tight jeans. She cannot help but respond in kind. And so begins a new mix tape.
Ali and Dan exchange songs across oceans and time zones, across a lifetime of different experiences, until one of them breaks the rules and sends a message that will change everything…
Full of heartache and promises, joy and disappointment, Mix Tape asks the biggest question of them all: what if ‘what could have been’ is still to come?
Packed with music – some old, some new – and featuring playlists of songs you’ll want to discover for yourself.
Firstly thank you to Anne Cater for organising this blog tour and inviting me to be involved and thank you to Transworld Books for providing me with a copy of the book. Secondly, oh my, what an incredible book, I see that Nina Pottell at Prima Magazine has flagged it as a contender for one of her books of 2020 and despite it only being January I couldn’t agree more.
This is a beautiful and nostalgic love story, for those of us of a certain age the mix tape will generate an array of memories – the care and attention in compiling a set of 10 or so songs chosen especially to please the recipient but also to communicate something from the sender… the excitement, the anticipation, the tension! All contained on a music cassette…
This book is the story of Alison and Daniel, who met and fell in love, their passion for music drew them to each other, circumstances tore them apart and neither fully recovered from the loss of this first powerful love. Years later when the mix tape – the cassette is obsolete, social media reunites them, as does their passion for music.
Told from the perspectives of Alison and Daniel and in a then and now format this book was simply a wonderful read. I adored the young Alison and Daniel – cool and beautiful, transfixed with the other as they fell in love. But youth was their enemy and their lack of wisdom allowed secrets to drive them apart in the most heartbreaking and devastating way. Their ‘now’ adult stories were equally enjoyable and at 400 pages I found this book to be a fast read, hard to put down.
On the surface this was a light read, romantic fiction, but it covered some serious and difficult themes and Alison’s childhood was particularly sad. The cast of characters was relatively small and all became familiar making the story easy to follow. Written in the third person narrative from 2 perspectives but with distinct storylines and again easy to follow.
I loved this book and will be recommending to all my friends, I defy anyone not to cry at some point, but essentially this was romantic fiction at its best, making my heart warm! Highly, highly recommended.
This is a blog tour which you should be able to follow on Twitter using the #MixTapeBook but below are the bloggers taking part in week 2 so do check out what they are saying about this book and please do share across social media.
Thanks as always for reading.
About the Author
Jane Sanderson is a writer and journalist. She has worked as a producer for BBC Radio 4, first on the World at One, and then on Woman’s Hour. She lives with her husband and children in rural Herefordshire.
Jane has poured much of her own story into this book; from the boyfriend who gifted her a mix tape, introducing her to the likes of Van Morrison, to the carefully curated playlist (featured in the book) which includes songs that have helped to shape her life and pay homage to her own youth.