After hitting her head in a fall, Melody can’t help but break into song whenever she is feeling stressed. The inexplicable condition has her belting out song-and-dance numbers at school interviews, on trains, in supermarket queues. And it often keeps her two children, Flynn and Rose, up at night. To make matters worse, her husband Dev has disappeared without a trace. When Rose spots an online report about a man who could be her dad, the trio head off to find some answers.
The involuntarily singing concept makes for a great story and I couldn’t wait to read this book after seeing its blurb. Melody is a quirky character and her story builds through the issues faced by her two children and the mystery of what happened to Dev. However about halfway through, the storyline got bogged down going over the same problems, causing me to start skipping passages just to get to the end. And this obviously affected the impact of the powerful conclusion. Many of you will love this book – and rightly so because it’s a well-written, endearing story – but it fell short of making me want to sing its praises.
The Songs of Us, by Emma Cooper, is about a woman who sings when she's anxious. The summary says: "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'. The Songs of Us is out in May 2018.