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 quite possibly my favourite of all the books that I have read so far this year. What could have been a thoroughly depressing book, given the hand that has been dealt to the main characters, is in fact surprisingly warm and funny. The entire premise of the book is completely heartbreaking, and yet there is a feeling of hope throughout, and the author’s sense of humour shines out through the pages.
I often find when reading that a book will draw me in to the pages so that I completely lose the world around me, but it is rare that one will grab me by the heart and refuse to let go. As each member of the King story shares their perspective on family life, you feel every second of their individual turmoil, and sing along with every song that breaks free from Melody’s thoughts.
I am not a person who normally laughs audibly while I am reading, but on more than one occasion, this book had me snorting with laughter – keep your eyes peeled for one particularly spectacular misunderstanding in a conversation between Melody and Flynn (I am saying no more, this you have to read for yourself!)
There are moments of pure writing genius throughout the book, ranging from Melody’s wonderful description of a bookshop:-
“The smell inside the bookshop is like a favourite pair of fluffy socks, soothing your aches and warming your ice-cold toes.”
To Flynn’s insightful thought of:-
“His wife that he just left – you know, the opposite of right.”
This is a book that takes you on a real rollercoaster ride through your emotions making you laugh and cry in equal measure. Be warned, you will need an entire box of tissues before you reach the end. I pity the next book that I pick up because The Songs of Us is an incredibly tough act to follow, and has left me with the worst book hangover that I have suffered in quite some time.
The Songs of Us is released on 31st May as an e-book and on 28th September in paperback. Don’t miss out. Pre-order your copy now here.