The Truth about Melody Browne – Lisa Jewell

When she was nine years old, Melody Browne’s house burned down, taking every toy, every photograph, every item of clothing and old Christmas card with it. But not only did the fire destroy all her possessions, it took with it all her memories – Melody Browne can remember nothing before her ninth birthday. Now in her early thirties, Melody lives in a council flat in the middle of London with her seventeen-year-old son. She hasn’t seen her parents since she left home at fifteen, but Melody doesn’t mind, she’s better off on her own. She’s made a good life for herself and her son and she likes it that way. Until one night something extraordinary happens. Whilst attending a hypnotist show with her first date in years she faints – and when she comes round she starts to remember. At first her memories mean nothing to her but then slowly, day by day, she begins to piece together the real story of her childhood. Her journey takes her to the seaside town of Broadstairs, to oddly familiar houses in London backstreets and to meetings with strangers who love her like their own. But with every mystery she solves another one materialises, with every question she answers another appears. And Melody begins to wonder if she’ll ever know the truth about her past.

When I chose this book, I think I was expecting something else. My previous knowledge of Lisa Jewell was Ralph’s Party, a sweet romantic comedy about flatmates. Lisa Jewell has certainly grown up over the years and THE TRUTH ABOUT MELODY BROWNE proves it! This book is an emotional rollercoaster that really took me by surprise. The subject matter got extremely dark at times, and I am not afraid to say that I shed a tear or two more than once during this book, but overall I was left with what I think is an inspirational and overall uplifting tale about the family that you, and the life you live creates, as opposed to the one you were both into.

The format of the book and the way that the story unfolded was what I both loved and what I was confused by. Melody’s history is revealed to the reader via flashbacks told from Melody’s perspective as a child. This bought an endearing naivety to the description of some truly devastating events, however I was somewhat confused as to what Melody, as an adult was remembering for herself, and which flashbacks were for the reader alone. That being said, this didn’t distract me for too long as the story-telling and how the flashbacks were constructed kept me enthralled throughout.

The relationship between Melody and Ken was so beautiful. I loved that while others didn’t understand it, the two of them had this connection that was just so normal to the both of them. I also commend Lisa Jewell for retaining Melody’s innocence. This may seem strange if you haven’t yet read the book, but with everything that happened to her and her family, the story could have taken a more sinister path very easily and for me that would have felt a little predictable. Lisa took the story in a different direction and in doing so, she created a truly astonishing read that shocked me and uplifted me all in one.

I would most definitely recommend this book, in fact I already have 🙂

Great for fans of Ceceila Ahern.

What did you think of the book?