The Songs Of Us by Emma Cooper

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Description

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

I’m not a gushy type of reviewer, but this books makes me want to gush! I don’t even know where to begin describing this emotional roller-coaster of a book.

Melody has a neurological condition as the result of a fall that causes her to involuntarily burst into song, usually at very inappropriate times and often with inappropriate songs. At the same time she is struggling to single-parent her children since the disappearance of her husband 11 years earlier. Son Flynn was 5 when he was flung head first through the windscreen of the car his father was driving. Now a teenager, he has memories of a loving father and is tortured by his abandonment. Daughter Rose was 3 when the accident happened and has no memories of it, or the father who subsequently disappeared from their lives, but she knows her family has never been the same since he left and has a strong need to find him and get answers.

The book is told mainly through the points of view of these three characters and oh my goodness! did my heart break and ache for them. Each has their personal demons to overcome, and although there are some heavy themes they are covered with understanding and care. Balancing the darkness is humour and a family that feels very real and relatable, despite their unusual circumstances, and a small cast of side characters that are introduced slowly but who I grew to really like.

I feel as though I’m the last person to read this book but if there is anyone else out there that hasn’t I recommend that you do. You won’t be disappointed!

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