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4.4 out of 5 stars195
4.4 out of 5 stars
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I've been trying to wean myself off of reading 'chick lit' but I think that authors such as Lisa Jewell and Marian Keyes are a cut above the rest, especially as Adele Parks' last two books have been a little under par. Anyway, I digress, the book's plot centres around school dinner lady and single mum, the titular Melody, who lives a fairly quiet existence in a council flat in Covent Garden with her soon-to-turn 18 son, Ed. Melody has no memory of her life prior to a fire which occured when she was 9 years of age, however a date and a visit to a stage hypnotist changes all that when Melody beins to piece together the fragments of her past.

I took this book away with me on a weekend break and I was hooked, which is pretty rare these days! It was written to beautifully and the text flowed nicely. The characters were extremely believable and well crafted. I really admire the way that Jewell is able to deal with difficult, taboo or somewhat challenging topics with consummate ease, as she ably demonstrated in her previous novel 'One Hit Wonder'. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read and please don't be put off by any fluffy 'chick lit' preconceptions!
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I bought this on a whim for my holidays. I started it last night and will have to buy another book for my holiday as I've finished it already! It was a great read. I love Lisa Jewell's style of writing, she is very sincere without being overly sentimental and creates very believable and likeable characters. I especially enjoyed the way she portrayed the sibling relationships which were incredibly moving. Whilst the plot was far fetched, it still maintained believability - if that isn't too much of a contradiction - and I think that was mainly down to her skill in portraying the main character.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it 100%
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on 7 January 2010
I generally read history books, in particular military history and science fiction, I do try to read very widely but I am probably not a sterotypical Lisa Jewell reader/fan, if one exists. However I love these books.

I remember Ralphs Party, Lisa's first book coming out and it getting a lot of attention in the press about how good it was so I bought it and like most people loved it. I have recommended it to everyone I know since. And since then I have bought every book as it came out, I have some doubts if the next one could be as good as the first or that it might get too soppy/girly, but each time I have been hooked and impressed and moved.

This latest book is no exception. I was lucky enough to go to a signing/talk by the author at Waterstones Notting Hill last year when this book first came out and many of the audience had read it already and were talking about it - most saying how they cried at the end. I remember thinking I wont! But I think I did when I got to the point they were discussing!

This is a great book, I was hooked. An interesting and moving novel about a girl who has forgotten everything of her first few years and this is the story of how and what she discovers - the truth about Melody Brown!

I have never described Lisa Jewell as "chick-lit" this is simply great literature. Go and buy this book!
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on 25 March 2011
I absolutely loved this book and I couldn't put in down. I can see why people would think the plot is far fetched and the one critisism I have is that the story was tied up a bit too quickly and neatly towards the end. However, the vivid characters make it so believable and I was rooting for Melody from page one. This book ripped my heart out - I cried several times. There are some really emotional moments. Ultimately, it was such a lovely story, just beautiful. Beautifully written, original and imaginative . It will stay with me for a long time.
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on 3 April 2009
Having loved Lisa Jewell's previous books, I approached this one with high expectations, and wasn't at all disappointed! I bought it yesterday, and finished it at 4am, yawning but satisfied!

It's an unusual story of a fragmented life, but skilfully written so that as the strands weave together, they bind you to the characters and leave you desperate for a happy ending... But to find out if you get one, you'll have to read the book!
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I hadn't read anything by Lisa Jewell since reading "Ralph's Party", in the last decade, but I finished "The Truth about Melody Browne" in under 24 hours. Why? Well quite simply it was an enjoyable, entertaining and heart warming book.

It tells the story of Melody Browne, a mid-thirties single Mum of a teenager, Ed, who is about to turn 18. At the start of the book she goes out on what you sense is her first date for a little while - so far, so traditional predictable story, but during the course of the date her life is turned upside down. When she goes to a hypnotist's stage show and is hypnotised and taken back to being a five year old child, she finds, bit by bit, that memories that she didn't know she had from her childhood start appearing and she remembers who she is and where she comes from.

Melody has no memory of anything that happened to her before the age of 9 when her house and nearly everything in it was burned down in a fire. As the book progresses and the memories come to light it turns out that her life up to the age of 9 was more colourful than she thought, and everything that she thinks she knows about her life as a Mum and dinner lady by trade, is about to be questioned. Her budding romance with Ben, who took her on that date is put on hold whist Melody Browne finds out who she really is.

The story goes between the present and 1977 as we, the reader, find out the truth alluded to in the title, alone with the hero of the book herself. I found that it was one of those books where just had to read "one more chapter" and that it was an easy and compelling read. I did find that some of the dialogue of a 5 or 6 year old Melody didn't ring very true, which I found surprising as the author does have 2 young daughters. This is a minor criticism however, in general I thought that this book succeeded on most levels as having an interesting plot and likeable and believable characters, with Melody herself having my full interest and empathy. For me, personally, I thought that she handled the subject of family and what that means extremely sensitively, whilst showing that families can come in all shapes and sizes and though they shape the person you are, you are the one in control of what you become. There were some real laugh out loud moments as well as some more poignant scenes, both were well rendered and rang true.

This isn't high literature, but it is well written and Lisa Jewell manages to introduce a whole host of characters and different places without losing the reader for an instant, from best friend Stacey, a fellow teenage mum and long standing friend to the flamboyant Ken who is one of the first people from her early life Melody remembers, the characters were all full of life and interest. I was carried along by the events that unfolded and put the book down feeling that it had been a satisfying and diverting read.

I recommend this book if you are looking for something that is easy to read, a little bit "girlie" but with a bit more to it than "boy meets girl", romance there is in parts, but this book has a twist, and this, for me made it stand out from the norm in this genre. The truth is this is a good book! (review appears elsewhere in my name)
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VINE VOICEon 12 January 2010
I've always liked Lisa Jewell's novels, some more than others. This one is definitely my favourite!

'The Truth About Melody Browne' is darker in tone than the others but also very inspiring as well. It deals with the idea of family: who makes up our family and what makes them important to us? Aside from the very first part, the book starts out fairly routinely with a modern single mother deciding whether or not to go on a date. However the real story begins very soon after that and once it got started I couldn't put it down.

This story is very sad in parts and deals with some big issues but despite this it is never overly sentimental. There is wonderful use of imagery as Melody's memories slowly return. There are no fairytale endings and nothing is black and white, and by the end I was thinking a lot about the choices some of the characters had made and whether they were right or wrong. Yet despite the heavy subject matter the story is remarkably uplifting. Lisa Jewell creates wonderfully rounded, believeable characters that you can really relate to and care about.

This is one of those books that leaves a feeling in your mind even after you put it down. Highly recommended (but be warned, it may make you cry in places).
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Based on her book covers, it would be easy to dismiss Lisa Jewell as a fluffy chick-lit writer but she's much more than that. I've read all her books now and have loved every one. She writes about real people with real jobs (Melody is a dinner lady, not a glamorous media executive) and often her books are set in the 1980s and 90s and her characters are going through the same things I went through at that time.

The story of Melody's search for the truth about her childhood might sound a bit far-fetched at first, but really it's just the story of a little girl who has a very rocky start in life and tries to blank things out as a way of dealing with the trauma. There are some very interesting characters in the book and the story is heartwarming without being corny or sickly-sweet. I finished it in bed this morning and felt quite emotional at the end.
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on 20 April 2009
I love Lisa Jewell's writing...i came at this book from the back of a traditional lightweight romance; boy meets girl, problems/problems, problems resolved, happy was just so pat and dry. But this boy meets girl story is so different. There is romance but it's on hold until the girl, melody, discovers herself - big time. Unlocking memories which have been too terrible to contemplate until her own son is capable of living his own independent life. It's the sort of onion skin reveal which has you at once picking this book up at every given opportunity and, on the other, trying to slow your pace to make it last. It didn't for me....I managed two nights. see how you do...highly recommended
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on 11 April 2009
The Truth About Melody Browne

When I read the first chapter of this book I wasnt that impressed, but I thought I'd give it a go and it was just absolutely brilliant, I read it within 48 hours until the small hours, then I went back and read the first chapter again. Another excellent story from Lisa Jewell.
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