IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER?
Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety.
Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading.
When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one.
The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.
Kindle Edition, 178 pages
Published April 14th 2015 by Bent Pine Publishing
Four stars: A magical realism story that will enchant you.
Ophelia Brown is almost ninety years old. She has lived in the Memory House by herself, protecting the objects that hold special memories. Ophelia has no children or family, so she is anxious to find someone who will carry on her legacy. Finally by chance, a young lady, Annie, shows up on her doorstep looking to rent a room for night. Ophelia dares to hope that Annie might be the one. Over some magical dandelion tea, the two talk, and Ophelia knows that Annie is indeed the one. Can Ophelia convince Annie that there is magic in memories?
What I Liked:
- I am a sucker for magical realism stories as I like to believe that there is the possibility of magic in the real world. Ms. Crosby delivers a sweet and simple story with two unforgettable women who forge a lovely friendship, along with a pinch of magic. If you are looking for a light, quick, cozy read, this is a sure bet.
- I adored Ophelia Brown. At almost ninety years old, she knows she is nearing the end of her life. Yet, she is as active and alive as ever. Ophelia has a special gift for blending herbs in a way that helps others, almost a bit like magic. Ophelia is wise, and a bit magical. Along with her gift for herbs, she has a talent for being able to glean memories off from certain objects. Every once in awhile, something she handles will impart memories of the past from its previous owner to Ophelia. Ophelia believes that memories have their own life and that it is up to her to share her gift. Ophelia is one of those characters who will immediately draw you in.
- Annie is a young woman, struggling with the every day burdens of life. A job that has gone sour and a failed romance, lead her on a small getaway. Annie lands on Ophelia's doorstep, and soon, the women form a fast friendship. I liked that Annie was quickly able to open her heart to Ophelia and her mind to the possibility of magic. I enjoyed watching her journey and seeing her transform. Together, Annie and Ophelia are magical.
- The story take us through Annie's troubled romance as well as Ophelia's long lost love. I liked Ophelia's romance, it is one that is sweet and sad. Annie after a struggle finally learns to let go, and in the end, a lovely new romance awaits her as well. I loved both romances.
- I have only read two books by Ms. Crosby prior to this one, and I liked that there were traces of the two stories I knew in this book. Fans of Ms. Crosby will be delighted to know that all the articles that possess memories in the house are from her other novels, so if you have read all her books, you will easily be able to pick out what item goes to which story, and you will understand the history of each item. I thought this was a clever and unique concept.
And The Not So Much:
- This was a quick, light read, but I didn't like that it ended a bit abruptly. It stops just at the point where things are moving in a happy, positive direction for Annie. I was expecting a bit more resolution for both Annie and Ophelia. It almost felt like a prequel, and I am hopeful that there will be more story to come because there is certainly more story to tell.
- This is a personal preference, but for me, I feel the book would have been more impactful if the author had stuck strictly to a first person narrative throughout. The majority of the story is told via third person, but then there are these small chapters that are done in first person that relay Annie or Ophelia's thought. I felt much more connected to the chapters done in first person vs. the third person.
Memory House is a simple, sweet story perfect for those who love a small dose of magic. This is the perfect cozy read for when you need a quick pick me up or for when you need a easy way to wile away an afternoon or a stormy day. This is a book with memorable characters, a touching romance and a nice story. Give it a try.
" A good memory is something you ave to live with for a while, let it settle in and become part of who you are. Then when it's feeling at home and welcome, you can move on to the next one."
"The thing is," Ophelia adds, "there's a big difference in missing someone because they filled a hole in your life and missing someone because they were your whole life."
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.