Catherine West knows how to take a story that, if taken at a surface level is just another "poor little rich girl finds some gumption and romance," and goes so much deeper and makes it so much more. She gets me invested in characters and their circumstances and makes my heart ache for their brokenness.
Natalie Mitchell has decided to give herself a second chance. She no longer allows herself to take a passive or care-taking role based on past choices and the presumptions and expectations of overbearing family members.
Tanner Collins is a bit like some Jane Austen heroes in that he comes off as being a bit of a jerk for quite a bit of the story. But he slowly becomes more sympathetic, and the scene where he sees his office after Natalie gets through with it? It had me both smiling and snickering.
Now, I thought I had my bearings with this story - faith issues, trust issues, grief, depression, complicated families - then chapter 13 started and threw me for a loop. A new character is introduced into a sub-plot that really left me wanting more. I do love it when secondary characters pop up and say "you'd love me and my story, too!"
The Memory of You is about secrets, second chances, and forgiveness. If you enjoy a well told tale that touches your heart, a bit of mystery and a sweet romance, or just really like stories of messy families set in California wine country, then this is an excellent choice. Highly recommended and I will anxiously wait for more from this author.
This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily received from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
After thirteen years, Natalie Mitchell is faced with going back to the place where her sister's tragic death happened, a place she's avoided since. She is forced to face her past as her father instructs her to check on the status of her grandfather's winery and possibly shut it down. When she arrives, her childhood friend, Tanner Collins, is anything but happy to see her. As they are forced to work together, they find they both have secrets in their pasts. Will she be able to face her past and move on with her life, or will it haunt her forever? Will she be able to save the winery or will she blindly obey her father's wishes as she's always done?
Beautifully written, you will not want to put this book down. I loved this book, I loved how the characters were flawed and very well developed. Their struggles are struggles that many peoplecan relate to. I love how West shows how they learn to trust God as they work through their problems. To trust that God makes no mistakes and He has a plan in everything, no matter how horrible it looks to us. I highly recommend this book, go grab yours today!
**I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for review through the Fiction Guild program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
THE MEMORY OF YOU by Catherine West Published by Thomas Nelson
Natalie head of PR in her father's company; parents worried, since the break up of her engagement. Yet, nightmares began when a twin died, at age 13. Going back to vineyard, to close it down, brought the guilt, for having survived. Was there any good memories when there before. Grandfather wasn't in as bad of health as her parents led her to believe, what was behind their motive. A crush she had on Tanner, was now working in vineyards. He doesn't recognize any of the old Natalie. A good plot of healing, that was long overdue for Natalie. Good story, that is enjoyable as all of Catherine's books are. Given ARC by Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
Ill be honest I put off reading this book because the cover just did not excite me. Not even a little. (Im a people on the cover person.) I also had never read a book by Catherine West and didnt know what I was in for. Now that I have read the book, Im chagrined to say that I wish Id ignored the cover art and picked it up earlier, because it was such a good read! Wests characters are realistic and flawed, and her story line, while not jarring, was not predictable. I truly enjoyed being on Tanner and Natalies journey and am glad I was able to read it.
Book was provided to me by The Fiction Guild in exchange for my honest review.
Catherine West writes with such emotion and passion
May 18, 2017
Catherine West has quickly become one of my favorite authors. She writes with such emotion that it is easy to connect to the characters, forgetting that these are made-up people. It truly is like she is sharing someone's story. In The Memory of You, she does a great job at taking sorrow and loss and shows readers the bigger picture. She reminds her readers that reconciliation is possible. It's not easy, but possible. There was such truth in these pages that her readers are guaranteed to feel a little prick in their hearts about how they might need to rethink something in their own life. I love when fiction books do that to me.
Natalie is challenged to let her past go, which is easier said than done when it's your sister's death and your involvement that you're having to let go. She is learning that holding in secrets is traumatizing and slowly sucks the life from her. Tanner is learning the same thing in his own life. But the fear of being hurt again or of loving and losing is great for these two. They have to decide whether it is worth it or not. Tanner has made his living working in the vineyards at Maoilios and loves it there. He can't imagine working anywhere else, but he might have to if Natalie's father gets his way. And let's be honest, he has enough money and power to always get his way. He needs someone to stand up to him and take on a fight, but is Natalie strong enough to do it alone in the midst of her own problems?
I love that PTSD is brought up in a non-condemning way. So often it is equated with just military personnel, but it can affect anyone. I was glad to see it brought up in this book, and honestly wasn't expecting it.\
I cannot wait for another book to be written and released from Catherine West! Hopefully I don't have to wait too long!
I received this book free from BookLook Bloggers and Thomas Nelson Publishing.