The Truth About Melody Browne by Lisa Jewell

The Truth About Melody Browne Book Cover The Truth About Melody Browne
Lisa Jewell
New Adult, Adult, Women's contemporary fiction
Atria Books, Pocket Books
January 26, 2021
Kindle, Paperback, Mass Market Paperback, Audiobook, Audio CD
359

When she was a child, Melody Browne’s house burned down, destroying all her family’s possessions and her memories. Ever since this tragic event, Melody Browne has had no recollection of her life before she was rescued from the flames.

Now in her early thirties, Melody is a single mother, living in the middle of London with her teenaged son. She hasn’t seen her parents since she left home at fifteen, but Melody has no desire to reconnect until one night, while attending a hypnotist show with a date, she faints. When she comes around, she is suddenly overwhelmed with fragmented memories of her life before that fateful fire.

Slowly, she begins the arduous process of piecing together the real story of her childhood. Her journey takes her up and down the countryside, to seaside towns to the back streets of London, where she meets strangers who seem to love her like their own. But the more answers she uncovers, the more questions she is left with, and Melody can’t help but wonder if she’ll ever know the whole truth about her past.

Who would you be if you forgot your childhood???

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.

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