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Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Songs of Us by Emma Cooper

Title: The Songs of Us
Author: Emma Cooper
Publisher: 31 May 2018 by Hachette (Headline Review)
Pages: 432 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: fiction, contemporary
My Rating: 4.5 crowns

If Melody hadn't run out of de-icer that day, she would never have slipped and banged her head. She wouldn't be left with a condition that makes her sing when she's nervous. And she definitely wouldn't have belted out the Arctic Monkeys' 'I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor' in assembly at her son's school.
If Dev hadn't taken the kids to the zoo that day, then the accident wouldn't have happened. He wouldn't have left Flynn and Rose without a dad. Or shattered the love of his life's heart.
But if they hadn't seen the missing person report that day, they might never have taken the trip to Cornwall. And, in the last place they expected, discovered what it really means to be 'Us'.
My Thoughts

‘Our life –no matter what happens in between –starts and ends with a heartbeat: our own personal rhythm, our own song.’

What an interesting book this proved to be. Swayed by other reviews, I am happy that I ventured into this somewhat darkly comic, family story.  This is no ordinary tale and therefore I feel the author has done an excellent job that is both funny and incredibly heart wrenching - in equal measure will you laugh and cry.

When you first start reading you may fall under false pretenses that this is a familiar themed chick lit with its generic romantic comedy formula. Light and fluffy this certainly is not, as you will seriously invest yourself in the many complex and challenging situations and characters. This book certainly did not venture down the path I first foresaw, in fact, the path is a mightily twisted and curved, one that will keep you guessing to the very end.

Each of the four main characters - Melody (Mum), Dev (Dad), Rose and Flynn (children) - have something unique to contribute as they walk through their life’s journey. Yes, you may very well laugh along as poor Melody’s condition will see her belting out another song and dance routine at the most inopportune times, but behind this facade is a far deeper, richer tale to be told. You will be captivated by these endearing characters and the battles they face both individually and together.

‘True love is simple. It’s there in the little Post-it notes, in the cup of tea when you wake up. It’s there when you argue and laugh five minutes later.’

Altogether it is such a well rounded book with a storyline that has a myriad of issues happening, some of which you simply will not see coming, but none are overwhelming. It truly is a heartwarming story of Melody and her struggles to do right by her family and those she loves. The characters and issues are real and therefore very believable and you will be taken on an emotionally charged journey throughout.

This novel will captivate you in unforeseen ways - you will laugh, shed a tear, feel your heart break and then have your faith in love restored. I recommend this quirky tale and don’t feel you will be disappointed.

‘I know I did the right thing to wait, because today was about flying, about rising above all of the world and its problems and leaving everything else behind.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release.

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