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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2021 Amy Harmon (P)2021 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic Reviews

“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 

What listeners say about The Songbook of Benny Lament

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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolutely Breathtaking

Beautifully written, mesmerising love story set in turbulous times. Ms Harmon knows how to create real characters that came to life in my mind and melted my heart.

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  • Karen Dee
  • 17-03-2021

Songbook in the Key of Benny

What an incredible book! I went in blind because I know this author is such a wonderful writer it had to be good but also I just wanted to be surprised. I'm so glad I did! I never expected it to be about so many things. What an imagination!

There are so many layers and complexities to this book. It is about so many things: love, racism, family dynamics, interracial relationships the mafia all in a span of a generation. The dawn of a new decade brings reflection to all of these as Benny Lament talks about his life and career with a talk radio host on December 30, 1969.

This was such an emotional book but also full of characters that will make you wish you could either sit and have a beer with them or shake them like a rag doll 😂 Whichever way you feel you will undoubtedly love this book and get loss in the Songs of Benny Lament.

Btw: The narration by Rob Shapiro was amazing!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Petrea
  • 03-04-2021

I almost started it over when it ended.

Great writing, wonderful characters, intriguing story. Amy Harmon, where have you been all my life?

20 people found this helpful

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  • T. Boulware
  • 01-04-2021

LOVED IT!

Amy Harmon does not disappoint. I loved everything about this book!! Benny and Esther. ❤ I did not want this book to end. Rob Shapiro was amazing!!

17 people found this helpful

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  • Book Bug!
  • 31-03-2021

Excellent book!

When I finish a book and it leaves me in a place that I have difficulty breathing...I know it deserves the highest honor I can give it. To give a review on a book is an honor and an important responsibility. I am an avid reader and very few authors bring me to a place that I am left speechless, so moved I feel it in my heart and soul. A story of love, courage, strength and fortitude. I cannot speak of the particulars of the story itself. The story left such a profound effect on me, it leaves no room for me to comment on the actual story. It was very real for q historical fiction. If you are new to Amy Hammon’s books, please treat yourself today. Once you have read one of hers you will read them all! I whisper/sync her books, the narrator does a great job!

17 people found this helpful

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  • Anjanette
  • 31-03-2021

Hot. Damn.

Amy never disappoints. She is such a phenomenal storyteller. I loved, loved, LOVED Benny and Esther! I rooted for them so hard - staying up way later than I should have to listen “just a little longer”. Rob was spectacular. Brilliant. Stunning. Amaze balls. 👏🏽🙌🏽
BUY THIS BOOK. 🖤

15 people found this helpful

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  • Marie
  • 27-04-2021

WELL WORTH A CREDIT!!

IT. IS. SO. GOOD. I didn't want it to end. I want to listen to the fictional songs. I want to see the people. Someone needs to make this into a mini series or a movie.

The book is well written with interesting and believable characters (you'll feel like you know them), a compelling storyline, bits of history and a few mysteries. I could go on but I don't want to give too much away.

Also, the narration is perfect -- so important for an audio book.

This was a credit well spent. Actually, it was so enjoyable I wouldn't have minded had I bought it outright. This one definitely makes my favorites list.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-04-2021

Remarkable!

Wow, the book began very slow paced I thought. I was almost ready to exchange it. I hung on for a bit longer and then it just flowed, and kept my attention until the last word.
Amy Harmon is an amazing author- what a brilliant talent she possesses. The story line is so engaging with its various turns and surprises. I loved the important message this book brings: to love each other.

7 people found this helpful

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  • 9668
  • 30-03-2021

Storytelling at its best.

I'm not sure how I stumbled across this book, but I am so glad I did. It is certainly worth the credit. It is storytelling at its best, which, combined with a skilled narrator, is almost hypnotic. It's a beautiful story that kept me up until two in the morning because I couldn't stop listening.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Denise R
  • 01-04-2021

Great read Black Lives Matter

I was thinking the book started out slow but it all came together. I understand the whole Italian family thing so I enjoyed that part and I loved the civil rights aspect. I will never understand why so many people had to suffer just pursuing happiness. Great ending!

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sharon D. Michalove
  • 30-03-2021

An Outstanding Author and a Brilliant Narrator

I loved this book. Amy brings us into the change that is the 1960s through the eyes of a man who’s significance is more than just his songs. Everything in his life highlights America’s struggles in a crucial decade. The story telling is riveting. But the core is Benny and Esther. The story of their relationship is everything. And Rob Shapiro brings the book to life beautifully. I first heard Rob when he read Amy’s book Making Faces and I’ve been hoping he’d read another of her books. I’m so happy he read this one.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christineb
  • 22-04-2021

Not her best

Having enjoyed Any Harmons other novels l emmersed myself into this The narration was quite good The story itself has potential but it just lacked something Having loved Daisy Jones the musical element could have been a bigger feature Overall it was ok

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  • Emma Corcoran (Dublin)
  • 27-03-2021

Breathtaking

A story I will relisten to again and again. Simply beautiful, ugly beautiful ❤️. Harmon is a wordsmith

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