Cover Image: Saved by a Song

Saved by a Song

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Member Reviews

In Saved by a Song, the author shares the songs and the stories behind them. A memoir of her life with tips on writing songs and making them the best they can be. I enjoyed reading her stories and her processes. The layout was fabulous.
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Gauthier's desire to share a raw and honest experience of healing through the power of songwriting is quite honorable and fitting, in a world of humans so desperate to find a release for emotional ease. As a veteran, I'm especially moved by her regard for attending to the needs of former military, an audience comprised of far too many who go the way of suicide. More attention should be placed on the arts in primary and secondary school; perhaps a book like this will help in that way.
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Although I never met Mary Gauthier, I ate many meals at her Boston restaurant Dixie Kitchen. Then, years after I’d moved away from Boston, I learned she had become a songwriter and I became a big fan of her Mercy Now release. Months ago, I happened to find her doing a livestream performance. I sent a note that I still missed my favorite meal, and she knew all the sides which came as part of it. Fun.

Those were my reasons for reading her memoir, and the chapters which discussed that period of her life and how songs which I knew were written were my favorite parts of the book. I hadn’t realized she’d had such a tough life, but she seems to have overcome her troubled past and addictions well. Good for those seeking inspiration, both for songwriting and dealing with personal issues.

Thanks to St. Martin’s and NetGalley for an advance review copy.
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As a music lover, I thought I'd long known the power of music and how it can affect one's life.  it turns out that I had no idea how truly powerful music is until I read this book.  Stunningly good.
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I was not expecting this book. As a songwriter, I was looking for maybe some tips on writing and process. What I got was a memoir from a songwriter about how songs saved her both before and after she started writing them. Mary Gauthier was a successful chef/restauranteur when she entered recovery from addiction and found release in songwriting. Her journey is told through the songs she wrote and the songs she loved, and she inspired my songwriting more than any of the how to books have.
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I've been a fan of Mary Gauthier's music for many years, and have been lucky to see her perform many times in small, intimate clubs throughout New England. Now I'm a fan of her prose. Like "Bird By Bird" by Anne Lamott, "Saved by a Song" is as much a guide to life as it is a guide to writing. Part memoir, part breakdown of the songwriting process, and part example of how to live honestly and fully, this was a powerful and moving book. Especially inspiring was her discussion of her recent work with Songwriting With Soldiers, a program that pairs veterans and their families with songwriters during weekend retreats to produce songs about their experience. She is steadfast in her belief that songs can transform both the songwriter and the listener, and if you'll give her a listen she'll make a believer out of you as well.
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This book was received as an ARC from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

Out of all of the books I got a chance to review, no book has ever impacted me the hardest as Saved by a Song. All of us know the power of music and how it has the ability to heal and shape our lives and future and for Mary it definitely was a journey she will never forget. I did recognize some of the songs she mentioned in the book but the one that stood out to me and brought back so many good memories was Closer to Fine by the Indigo Girls. Reading the chapter and playing the song in my head just brought a smile to my face and I could not believe how much happier it made me and because of that, I know I will have a much better day.  No matter the struggle and no matter the hardship, songs will always help ease the process. 

We will consider adding this title to our Biography collection at our library. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
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