The main character's love of music is the heartbeat that runs through The Best of Adam Sharp, so author Graeme Simsion has put together a playlist of Adam's favourite tracks to listen to while you read the book.
Here are five songs that mark big moments in his story...
IT consultant by day, renegade piano-player by night, Adam is playing Van Morrison’s ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ in a bar in Australia, 1989, when Angelina Brown walks into his life. Filled with memories and haunted by the idea of lost love, the song sums up the ‘What if…?’ that runs throughout Adam’s life and the whole novel.
This song is the one Angelina asks Adam to play that first night at the bar. Fittingly, it’s filled with promise of what is to come, as the two characters bond over a mutual love and their intimate knowledge of the song. It sets the stage for a connection that lasts throughout Adam’s six months in Australia, and survives the twenty-something years that follow.
Adam plays this song as Angelina’s boyfriend comes to escort her away from the bar (and Adam) on that first night. A risky choice from the first chord, it demonstrates Angelina’s need for more in life and Adam’s willingness to give it to her.
Another reccurring theme in the book is the potential impact of decisions made in a split second. As he nears his fiftieth birthday, Adam’s reflects on how his life in England has been shaped by one such decision made more than twenty years ago in Australia - he still wonders how it might be different if he had made another choice. When, after years out of touch, he receives a one-word email from Angelina, that question starts to trouble him more and more.
5. Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts & Juice Newton - Angel of the Morning
The final song that Angelina and Adam play together back in 1990s Australia, this track symbolises the end of their brief time together. It’s about self-awareness and heartbreak, and echoes their nostalgia for what might have been - both at this moment, and twenty years on.