Songs For Your Mother by Gordon MacMillan

I’m greeted by the strangest sight. A small dark-haired boy is standing there. It’s like he’s a human parcel, delivered to my front door.

‘My name is Luke,’ he says.

When Johnny meets Lauren in a bar in Santa Cruz, there’s an instant connection. On an American road trip with best friend Will, Johnny promises to return to the girl who has stolen his heart.

Until tragedy strikes, forcing Johnny to fly back home without ever seeing Lauren again.

Six years later, Johnny is living his life in London, even if he’s never forgotten the girl with the grey eyes and dark hair.

Until one September morning, he opens his door to find a little boy standing there – a child, Johnny quickly comes to learn, who was created that one magical night. Lauren is dying, and her last wish is to reunite five-year-old Luke with the father he doesn’t yet know.

Thrown into unexpected parenthood, Johnny finds himself navigating school-gate politics, Disney movies and tantrums, guided by the notes Lauren has written for him.

Life as an instant dad isn’t always easy, but as Johnny and Luke open their hearts to each other, Johnny is about to discover that life’s joy isn’t always where you expected it.

An emotional, feel-good read that will have you laughing while you wipe away a tear – readers of Dani Atkins, Mike Gayle and Jojo Moyes will be captivated.

My Thoughts


Johnny is on a road trip with his best friend Will when he meets Lauren in a bar one night. There is an instant connection between them, and they spend a wonderful night together. As Will and Johnny embark on the next part of their journey he promises himself that he will be reunited with the girl who has managed to captivate his thoughts. However, when an emergency calls them home earlier than they intended, Johnny is left having to deal with the harsh reality of never seeing Lauren again.

Fast forward six years and we are back with Johnny. He feels as though he has his life together to some extent, but that all changes when a knock at the door turns his entire world upside down. There, on the doorstep is a five year old boy names Luke – and soon enough Johnny comes to realise that Luke is a production of that magical night he spent with Lauren all those years ago.

But this is far from a happy ending, as Johnny learns that Lauren is dying, and she has made it her dying wish to ensure that her beloved son is reunited with the father he never knew existed. Here starts a tender relationship as Johnny learns to be a parent, and Luke adjusts to having a father figure in his life. As both of them adjust to what is their new normal, they have to learn to open their hearts to one another.

This was such a moving read that has well and truly secured a place in my heart. Despite the story following a rather heart-breaking story of a mother and son losing one another through death, there is the joyous silver lining of the beautiful relationship that blossoms between Johnny and Luke in the wake of such tragedy. The story is written in such a way that it is impossible to not find yourself well and truly invested in the story, and the characters that you come to love as the story progresses.

A heart warming, emotional read that will stay with me for quite some time.

You can purchase a copy of this book by following the links below:

AMZ: Kobo: Apple:

About the Author

 Gordon Macmillan is a debut novelist and former journalist who now works for Twitter in London. 

Social Media Links

*Thank you to Rachel’s Random Resources, Hera Books and Gordon Macmillan for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*

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