Congratulations to Tara MacLean on the publication of her stunning memoir SONG OF THE SPARROW (HarperAvenue)!

An astonishing memoir about how song saved a life.

Singer/songwriter Tara MacLean has had an extraordinary musical career. From being discovered singing on a BC ferry to touring with Dido, Tom Cochrane and Lilith Fair, her solo albums and those with the band Shaye have touched legions of fans. But she hasn’t, until now, disclosed the details of how the power of song saved her from a childhood filled with danger.

From her earliest days in the backwoods of Prince Edward Island, Tara was surrounded by nature, the songs of her musician father and the love of her actor mother. But love was not enough to feed their growing family, nor were the Wiccan, then evangelical Christian teachings her parents followed. Hunger and uncertainty were constant companions, as were the dangers that began to enter her world. Predators can come in many forms from even the most trusted circles, and Tara soon learned that a young girl is never safe. It was only through Tara’s inner strength and the solace she found in singing that she created a refuge and a future for herself.  

Song of the Sparrow is a daring, heartbreaking and provocative memoir of a life filled with music, told with the same raw, open and elegant poetry that Tara’s fans have come to expect. From Tara’s childhood in PEI through her teenage years in BC to her meteoric rise in music, Song of the Sparrow reveals her remarkable strength and shows that a song and a wide-open heart are the best weapons for fighting monsters.

Don’t miss Tara’s new album, Sparrow, which is being released concurrently with this memoir.

Listen here:


“Wise and heart breaking. Tara MacLean writes with tender fierceness about triumphs, horrors, love and upheavals through the lens of an awakened heart. Her alchemical prose elevates the personal to the universal in a way that left me both sobbing and laughing in turn. This book is medicine. Song of the Sparrow is what the world needs now — a map back to the home of the heart. If it were up to me, these pages would be dropped from the skies so everyone could read it.”  — Lisa Ray, author and actress 

“Tara MacLean’s Song of the Sparrow is an honest insight into her life and how her creative process has allowed her to not only survive, but soar!” — Bryan Adams, musician 

“This is the most incredible and moving memoir. Tara has lived so many lives in just one life and this book is inspiring, painfully honest, so visual, funny and heartbreaking. I couldn’t put it down. I feel like I’m still in Tara’s world long after reading and want to be back there with her where she can turn survival into beauty and write such an honest story with such warmth, grace and resilience.” — Dido, musician

“Tara MacLean has managed to tell a difficult coming of age story without begging for our sympathy. My heart broke and burst for her and her intricate family. With each turn of the page, I honestly did not know what would come next. Life is messy and marvelous and you won’t want to miss the chance to peek through this keyhole and get a front row seat to this fierce and lovely memoir.”  — Jann Arden, author and musician

“Tara MacLean has written a remarkable memoir about her remarkable life, bracing in its honesty, poetic and moving, rich with fascinating insight into the music industry, and vibrant with the power of song to connect, inspire, and heal.”  — Elan Mastai, author of All Our Wrong Todays

“Tara MacLean’s gorgeous prose draws you into a story that will break your heart and heal it at once. This rare marvel of a memoir is instantly engaging and fiercely gripping. . . .MacLean is Canada’s musical answer to Glennon Doyle as she shares her extraordinary, harrowing, inspiring experiences while also delivering a generous and compassionate masterclass on courage, passion, and resilience. Everyone, read this book! Then return to it over and over to remind you of why life, despite its hardship and despair, is beautiful.”  — Marissa Stapley, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky

“Fans of Tara MacLean’s music have long admired her evocative use of words in crafting her lyrics, and this skill translates masterfully to her beautifully written memoir. This is a powerful book: it is fierce, unflinching, raw, honest, and finds joy in the most unexpected places. Tara’s incredible personal journey proves that a truly bright light may at times be dimmed but can never be extinguished.” — Channing Dungey, Chairman, Warner Bros. Television Group

Canadian singer/songwriter Tara Maclean has been an internationally renowned and award-winning recording and touring artist for over twenty-five years. She has written and recorded six solo albums and two with her band, Shaye. A playwright, author, poet and mother, Tara lives in her home province of PEI and on Salt Spring Island, BC. Song of the Sparrow is her first book.

Tara is represented by Carolyn Forde.