Love Is a Mix Tape
This memoir is the author’s homage to his late wife, who died young and unexpectedly, as well as to the music that they loved. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting just reading the listed summary, but what I found was a touching story of love and lost told in the language of music.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure about the first part of this book. It seemed like a typical story of a young man’s life that was constantly interrupted by lines which didn’t quite fit, which reading over again I’d recognize as lines from songs. The author tried to weave the mix tapes into the story, which was kind of interesting, but the music of the 80s and early 90s was a bit before my time, so I had a hard time relating.
About halfway through the story, I realized that this was a personal memoir and not, as I had thought when I picked it up, a fictional tale of a music fanboy in love. I don’t know if it was that realization, or just that I finally got to the heart of the story — the reflection of his relationship with his wife and the grief and heartache of his life as a widower — but from that point, it felt much more heartfelt and real. It seemed to flow much more naturally and didn’t seem as if he were trying to hard to make the music and lyrics fit into his story… it was obvious that they were an integral part of the story. I could totally relate to their relationship, as music played a major role in the courtship of my husband and me — perhaps that’s why the second half of the book, where the author is grieving for his wife — was so hard to read… it’s so real. Also, it didn’t hurt that this part of the story got into an era of music that I know and appreciate; it made it easier to follow his analogies and references.
Although I’d recommend this book to music fans (especially of 80s/90s music), I’d have to warn them that it’s not a lighthearted read by any means, but one that really makes you want to go hug the important people in your life. And while I’m at it, I think I’ll make them a mix tape 😉