Melody Browne had a falling out with her parents, left home and became an unwed mother all at the age of fifteen. Eighteen years later she has spent her life working as a school lunch lady and raising her son into a wonderful young man, with no time for dating or thoughts of what she will do with her live once he moves on.
On a whim she accepts a date to see a hypnotist show and is called up on stage to participate, unlocking memories that have been deeply buried of her time before a tragic house fire when she was young. As recollections slowly begin to surface, Melody begins to dig into her past and is confronted with a history that is totally unexpected. Through the pain she begins to get a sense of completeness about her life.
Lisa Jewell has created a wonderfully compelling story of self-discovery in The Truth About Melody Browne. Melody’s slow recollection of a time in her life that she has absolutely no memory of is a gradually peeling back of the layers in her mind and leads the reader on an intriguing journey that is totally unexpected. Just like her plot, Lisa’s characters are multi-layered and reveal a depth of understanding of humanity that made, what appeared to be a mundane story from the synopsis, a page turner from beginning to end.
Lisa’s exploration into the workings of the mind and memories, especially how the mind processes traumatic events is fascinating. Her portrayal of mental illness is also painfully accurate with regards to the hardship that it inflicts on a person and those around them. Her inclusion of Melody’s point of view as a small child is extremely realistic and heartbreaking while the discovery of her past and a new sense of worth is uplifting, leading the reader on the same roller coaster of emotions that Melody was experiencing on this journey. The Truth About Melody Browne is hidden gem you do not want to miss.