Book – The Truth About Melody Brown by Lisa Jewell

Because there’s a girl’s name in the title, it’s written by a female and the story is about a woman, one would assume this is chick lit, a phrase I dislike as much as ‘RomCom’.

I dislike it because I assume it to be a ‘Bridget Jones’ or ‘Shopaholic’. Not that I dislike those, in fact, they are the only two I have read of this genre albeit, before I realised it was a genre. I thought they were just comic novels but aimed at women. I’m put off because whilst I am happy to have read these, I don’t want every book to be about shopping, not being able to get a man and bleating on about being single or worse, all of the above.

So I dislike the term because just as the RomCom tag means I have probably missed out on some very funny movies, the chick lit label means it’s possible I have missed out on some great books.

This would have been one of them.

It’s such a painful admission to dislike it as I probably write it.

I don’t know where exactly but I did read about this book and something must have appealed to me. It’s one of those stories that is so simple yet full of complications, I wonder why no one else (me) didn’t think of it. Lisa Jewell throws enough spanners in the works to make this almost thriller like.

The book alternates between now and then; Melody Brown is 9 years old when her family home burns down. She grew up having blocked out all the memories before that moment and thinking the people she lived with…well I won’t spoil it.

She’s now a single parent, living in Covent Garden, London (oh the glamour) having lost contact with her parents when she found herself pregnant, nearly 18 years ago.

The then story kicks off when Melody’s parents break up and she and her mother move into a squat on the Kent coast. A myriad of characters come into her life but none of these are part of Melody’s memory, until she goes to see a live hypnotic show and is asked to be up on stage to take part. Only when she is transported back to being five years old does her mind start to unlock and the book tells of her first 9 years of memories slowly, painfully and sometimes excitedly coming back over the approaching days.

Melody stars putting back the pieces together as lost family and friends start entering her thoughts.

I don’t find it as sad as some reviewers but I do agree it’s uplifting. It’s what they call in the trade, a page turner.

I’m looking forward to reading Ms Jewell’s back catalogue. Any you recommend first?

8/10     Inspiration factor 9½/10

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