Chapter 1 and 2
Ingrid Michaelson – Can’t help falling in love with you
For the first few weeks after my youngest, Charlotte, was born, we spent most of the time just gazing into each other’s eyes, with this song on repeat! It perfectly expresses the wonder of that falling-in-love feeling, and the vulnerability, the sense of fragility, that goes along with that. Tiny Acts of Love begins when Cassie has just got home from hospital after giving birth, and this is very much her state of mind, in those early days with baby Sophie.
Gretchen Peters – On A Bus To St. Cloud
This song is about how, when you’ve lost someone you love, they can seem to haunt you. You imagine you see them everywhere. In Chapter 4, Cassie has just such a moment when she thinks she catches sight of her old love, Malkie, in a cafe. Even though it’s been years since they split up, and she’s now married to someone else, it still happens from time to time.
“I didn’t seek him out; he was just there, flashing into life in the face of a stranger, or in a half-overheard snatch of conversation. Or captured, fleetingly but perfectly, in the stride of a man passing by on the other side of the street. And then he would be gone again, as lost to me as he always was.”
Pulp – Disco 2000
In this chapter, Cassie and her husband, Jonathan, celebrate their wedding
anniversary. Jonathan attempts to stage a re-enactment of the night they first
met in a dodgy nightclub, and starts singing ‘Disco 2000’. I love this song - it
captures the quirky fun and energy about Cassie and Jonathan’s relationship.
Aerosmith - I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing
George Michael - I Can’t Make You Love Me
In Chapter 13, Cassie remembers how she and Malkie used to listen to ‘I Don’t
Wanna Miss a Thing’ while lying in each other’s arms in the early days of their
relationship. It’s such a gorgeous song. I love how the piano triplets sound like a heart beating beneath the melody. The George Michael song isn’t mentioned, but I listened to it on repeat while I
wrote this chapter. It captures that heartbreaking moment when you finally accept that a relationship is at an end.
The Verve – Drugs Don’t Work
Without giving too much away, Cassie and Malkie have a bit of a moment in this chapter. “On the car stereo, a new tune started playing – the first, hesitant, achingly sweet notes of the Verve’s ‘Drugs Don’t Work’. The plaintive, sweeping melody that spoke of love, and loss – well, it just undid me.”
Susan Boyle – Auld Lang Syne
In this chapter, Cassie and Jonathan see in the new year by tending to baby
Sophie, who has succumbed to a vomiting bug. Jonathan sings Auld Lang Syne to try and calm Sophie down, and Cassie remembers all the different Hogmanays she’s spent with Jonathan over the years. This Susan Boyle version is so pure and gorgeous and sad, and I listened to it on repeat while writing this scene. It’s about remembering the past, but also saying goodbye to it and facing the future, whatever that might be.
Gretchen Peters – When You Are Old
I had this song in mind when I wrote this chapter, which centres around Jean and Gerry, an elderly couple who have unexpectedly helped Cassie in her struggles. I think it’s a beautiful evocation of love – the rare kind that truly lasts a lifetime.
Mariah Carey – I’ll be there
Part of motherhood is about learning to let go, even while you’re still holding
on tight. The lyrics to this song are the words that I imagine Cassie saying to her little girl Sophie, as she begins to grow up and explore the world for herself.