Title: The Memory House
Author: Rachel Hauck
Published By: Thomas Nelson (2019)
When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either.
Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.
Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House. (Taken from Goodreads)
**I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.**
Aaack, this book was so sweet and heartfelt and so good!
I loved how the story jumped between modern times and the 1950s and I loved watching how both stories wove together. I was impressed by how all the many different subplots came together to create the overall plot, and every character served a purpose. Beck was awesome; she was so relatable and impossible to dislike. Similarly, Everleigh was loving and also easy to empathize with. The beautiful romance, the authentic characters, the alternating and descriptive settings—it was a beautifully crafted and carefully told tale. I loved the subtle mysteries, the wild dreams, and the themes.
At the beginning, I was almost turned off by the intense description following Brody’s journey as a sports agent. As someone who is entirely unaware of sports terminology, it was difficult for me to follow those scenes. This didn’t affect my overall opinion of the book, but it did make following Brody’s story difficult at times.
I definitely could tell at times that the book wasn’t fully edited yet, but at the same time, I easily caught a glimpse of the author’s vision and I absolutely loved it. A few scenes will need to be cut down, a couple added onto, but other than that, the story’s skeleton is strong. I did have trouble telling Don and Brody apart, but not terribly so. I was so fascinated by the significance of the Memory House and loved all the symbolism. It was a good length; the book is actually pretty long, but for me, it ended too soon. I savored every word.
Themes: Forgiveness, healing, making things right, love, kindness, doing the right thing.
Overall: Loved it. Loved it. Every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait to get back to it.
Notes: Some sexual aspects between married couples are implied, but never stated explicitly.
Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
Recommended to: Ages 15 and up for more mature thematics and a few sexual innuendos.