Natalie lost her twin sister in an accident when they were thirteen, and shes been suffering the after-effects for the fifteen years since. Now shes forced to return to the scene of the accident, her grandfathers vineyard in California, where she reconnects with family and old friends.
And Natalie is disconnected. We see this early onshe's recently broken her engagement, she appears to have only one friend, and her relationship with her parents is distant, her relationship with her grandfather non-existent from having not seen him in fifteen years.
Natalie never knew what her mother was thinking, never knew how she felt. And couldn't imagine what it must be to live a life marked in half-finished sentences.
Her father would always find a flaw. Even her best was never good enough.
Its rare to read a Christian novel about mental illness.
There are quite a few about returning soldiers suffering from PTSD. Its even rarer to read a Christian novel where the heroines mental illness is treated with drugs. Its as though taking drugs to treat a mental illness is seen as a sign of weakness, even though most of us happily pop pills for a headache, or get the flu jab every year. And dont tell me physical pain is somehow different.
That painkiller isnt stopping your body from hurting. Its stopping your brain from telling you your body is hurting.
The Memory of You reunites two teenage almost-sweethearts fifteen years later. It's got the issues-driven emotional punch of other Catherine West titles I've read, but more of a focus on the developing relationship (aka romance) between Natalie and Tanner. It's a story of unearthing secrets, acknowledging truth, and finding reconciliation for both Natalie and Tanner.
It's a fascinating lesson in how wrong our assumptions can beand how that can mess with our relationships, with God and with family and friends.
Recommended. Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
This story gives so much to its readers. It's one very emotional ride for the characters, but the lessons in grace and forgiveness are unmistakable. It didn't take long for me to be swept away to the lovely vineyards, where heritage and hard work are intertwined.
There is a lot of emotions for everyone to work through in this story. Natalie's journey is very difficult and my heart cried for her through her loss and struggle. I was gripped by every page to see if she'd overcome the past that haunts her.
Tanner's life has its heartache too, which had me in tears at times. I just wanted to give him a hug! Watching his story unfold around Natalie's was very well done. The sweet moments wrapped around the serious ones in a healthy balance. This book isn't what I would call lighthearted, but it still offers the light of truth and hope to its readers.
I also loved the homey feel that the winery brings to Natalie's story, along with her grandfather's presence. The secondary characters have full lives too and are facing their own uphill battles.
This author always manages to create a delicate balance of reality, while rewarding readers with a satisfying conclusion. I admire her strength in storytelling.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required. All opinions are my own.
Set in Sonoma County California's wine country, this story explores love, loss, and second chances in a broken world of perfectly flawed families. The Memory of You is a beautiful illustration of forgiveness, surrender, and restoration.
This is a great family drama and it doesn't shy away from complex issues like psychological trauma and illness, drug abuse, and questions of faith. The story has excellent secondary characters, an engaging plot, and an encouraging theme.
I requested the opportunity to read and review this title through the author and NetGalley. The opinions expressed are my own.
I loved this story! Catherine West masterfully weaves dynamic family drama and subtle romance to create a complex and captivating tale. Set against the backdrop of California wine country, the picturesque descriptions awed me with their beauty. Natalie and Tanner are both plagued by guilt and regret, and I was drawn into their tumultuous emotional and spiritual journeys. The Memory of You is a wonderful story of hope and healing and a highly recommended read!
I received a complimentary copy of this book. No review was required, and all thoughts expressed are my own.
An Inspiring Story of Grace, Forgiveness, and Changed Lives
March 28, 2017
In the fictional novel, The Memory of You, the author, Catherine West, tells a realistic and painful story that would naturally lead to despair, if not for the gentle truths of Gods mercy, grace, forgiveness and unconditional love. There are no easy answers or last minute second chances for the characters in this story. They deal with raw emotions, real-life problems, fears, and insecurities. They make mistakes, doubt themselves, ask tough questions, and search desperately for meaning and hope that might be found within their heartbreak. But it is within that search for hope and meaning that this novel truly shines. The characters persevere. They carry on. They seek help when needed. They fight for redemption. They pursue forgiveness. And in so doing, they become an inspiration, and their story becomes one of encouragement. They show that even though life is hard, and tragedy can befall anyone, Gods grace and forgiveness are always available to make the process of healing and restoration possible.
I found The Memory of You to be a deeply moving and thoughtfully written novel that entertained and encouraged me through its skillful use of relatable characters, beautiful settings, meaningful themes, and excellent pacing. It is a thoroughly satisfying, authentic work of contemporary Christian fiction that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all readers.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.