Set in the heart of California wine country, The Memory of You will pull on your heart and emotions. Facing the secrets of the past, Natalie and Tanner must overcome so much if they ever want to be free from the guilt and the pain that they have endured.
Natalie Mitchell has spent the last 13 years traumatized with guilt and PTSD. Tanner has to live with the consequences of decisions he has made. Both are vulnerable, both are guarded, they don't want to open up and let someone in. They have even shut God out. As they journey along the path of forgiveness, acceptance, and reconciliation with both their heavenly father and their earthly fathers, we see their souls barred open. We see into the depths of their hearts and feel the agony and the pain that they have had to overcome. Watching the romance blossom and grow in this story made my heart all a flutter. Catherine approached it in a very tender and sincere way.
I know that Natalie and Tanner are fictional characters, however, their experiences can be very real. I myself have anxiety and panic attacks (for completely different reasons than Natalie). We can't walk this path alone. Trying to be strong and just push on for another day, isn't the only solution out there. Find someone, whether it be a relative, a friend, a therapist...to reach out to. Open your heart to God, allow his forgiveness and his GRACE to flood you, for HE will bring you new life. His grace is enough.
I pray that as you read this powerful story, that the words would resignate in your heart. That it would give you hope, that you would know you are not alone and that your heavenly Father is watching over you and guiding you to safety.
The Memory of You is a stand alone novel.
I received a complimentary copy of The Memory of You from the publishers, Thomas Nelson. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine alone.
This is Catherine West's best one yet! I loved the family dynamics, the issues, the conflict, because these characters were real. They faced problems that anyone in real life might. Family secrets damaged relationships. Guilt and hurt plagued the main characters.
The grandfather owned a vineyard and winery. He had hoped his two sons would stay and help him run it but they went their own ways. Natalie, his granddaughter lost her twin sister in an accident when they were only thirteen. It happened at the vineyard. She deals with that trauma daily and even at night with nightmares. Tanner works for the grandfather and has his own issues. His sister is on life support and he's taking care of her two children. Prognosis for her is grim and Tanner feels the guilt.
This whole family was messed up but working together with God's amazing grace, they begin slowly to try and work out all their issues.
It was an enjoyable read in that I felt like I was right in the middle of their lives. One character had an issue with bipolar, which I've experienced in my own family. Natalie suffered with PTSD and had been seeking professional help for years off and on. The story was so engaging that it was hard for me to put it down and I read it very quickly.
I received this book for free and was not required to write a review, positive of otherwise.
"Nothing was different. But everything had changed."
Teetering on the edge of an emotional breakdown, public relations manager Natalie Mitchell takes a leave of absence from a successful position in her father's New York enterprise and travels across the country to her grandfather's California estate. Having learned of Hal Mitchell's recent heart attack, Natalie's father pressures her as the majority share holder in the Maolios winery, to use her bargaining power as a means to close down the fledgling family business, once and for all. Arriving back on the property where she was once the happiest, before she became the saddest; Natalie is not even sure that she is capable of pushing beyond the suffocating memories that surround her there; for part of her died on that fateful evening, when an horrific accident took the life of a most beloved sister.
Vintner Tanner Collins is not at all pleased to see the New York granddaughter anywhere near Maolios, in fact he is incensed that she would even consider shutting down the renowned winery before listening to some of his ideas for revitalization. There was a day when Tanner considered Natalie Mitchell to be his best friend, but the elegant, hollow-eyed woman standing before him now is barely a shadow of his childhood acquaintance. What in the world has happened to Natalie?
As Natalie and Tanner slowly warm through their initial impressions, it becomes apparent that they have much more in common than either of them could ever have imagined. Guilt is a painful adversary for which grace and forgiveness are the only possible antidotes.
Catherine West has not only written a lovely romance, but she has managed to weave gutsy, realistic scenarios into every aspect of this story, allowing her readers to fight valiantly alongside her characters, who are desperate for freedom from the bondage of their pasts. I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book from the author; the opinions that I have stated are entirely my own.
Sometimes the hardest person to forgive is our self.
A moving family drama set mainly in the beautiful California wine country of Sonoma. This compelling story has some genuinely struggling characters dealing with tough issues like PTSD, mental illness, bitterness, grief, and abandonment. As they seek answers to pertinent questions of faith, like how a loving God can allow bad things to happen, and come to grips with their past mistakes, their story moves on with a lot of hope and peace.
Some second chance romances add a tender side to the story. I was reminded of the verses in 2nd Corinthians 1 about how we are able to comfort others when we have gone through similar trials. Tanner and Natalie especially demonstrate this, though they start out quite at odds with each other. Their relationship is interesting as they find similarities in their struggles of faith and family difficulties, encouraging and helping each other to overcome.
Recommend to readers who enjoy Christian contemporary novels dealing with family issues, plus some romance.
(An e-copy was provided by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.)
Catherine West's A Memory of You is an outstanding read that will leave a lasting impression. Set in contemporary California's wine country, this book is filled with complex characters, depth of message, and a riveting plot that will keep you intrigued until the end.
As I consider this book as a whole, I must say that I greatly appreciate West's willingness to delve into the tough issues of life. Sugar coating painful issues is not her style. Within the pages of this story, we see families struggling through very real issues of identity, forgiveness, belonging, and grace. We also see the power of love and redemption, though certainly not easy to come by. West holds great skill in weaving these themes through intensely flawed but relatable characters. In this story, I was not only reading about a set of imaginary people, I was reading about myself.
I highly recommend West's books - this one and all her previous works. She gets inside your head and heart through her exceptional storytelling ability.