Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Memory by Lucy Dawson

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

Many years ago something happened to my daughter Isobel, something that broke her from the inside. Our family fell apart that day, and we never could pick up the pieces… When tragedy strikes, single mother Eve retreats with her daughter Isobel to Fox Cottage, their isolated home on the outskirts of town. Izzie, seven years old and sensitive, needs time to heal away from prying eyes. Days become years and the town moves on, but Eve won’t let go and Isobel can’t grow up. When a new family comes to Fox Cottage, their presence in the house will unearth a dark past that has long been buried… that somebody close to them would do anything to hide. It will expose secrets that Eve never knew about her own daughter – that she can scarcely believe could be true…

A heart-breaking domestic drama about families and secrets, perfect for fans of Gone Girl, Shalini Boland and Lisa Jewell.

my thoughts:

Just finished reading this one and am now mulling it over. Definitely not what I expected.  Feeling rather confused about whether I liked it or not.  Hmmm...

Eve's daughter, Isobel, experienced something traumatic as a child and she has never fully recovered. Flash forward, Eve is trying to see her house, so she and her daughter can move into something new and that has no connection with their past.  She finds a buyer in Claire - a woman new to her small town.  Only, it turns out Claire is "married" to Tim, Isobel's ex.  Seems that Claire doesn't know about the history between Eve's family and Tim's.  And let me just say its not pretty.  Regardless, Claire and her family move into Eve's old house.  They plan on renovating it and living there while they do so.  They have a young daughter named Rosie.  For Claire, this move is not something she wanted - in fact, it was forced on her.  She's just trying to make the best of it.  Tim is not happy about moving into this "new" house at all - it terrifies him and he tries to make Claire understand why.  Well, she doesn't.  And as they settle in, things begin to happen to them that rattle them deeply.  Plus, they have to deal with Isobel and Eve, more often than they would like.  Seems that no one can let go of the past - a past that Claire has no clue about.  A past that can't stop haunting them day in and day out.

Dawson does a great job of hooking you with this story's premise.  And she does bring about a load of twists and turns you wouldn't expect.  So, it is very good in some ways.  However, there is just something I found lacking in the story.  I'm not sure whether it was the character's development or if it was more to do with everything she threw in for good measure - the traumatic past, the child-like adult, the haunted house, the witchy elements, the affair, the aborted pregnancy, the broken heart, the dolls, etc..  My point is that there is a lot going on and some of it felt unfinished or unexplained.  Maybe that's why I didn't love the book.

At the end of the day, The Memory is a solid read filled with lots of mystery, suspense and drama.  There is a supernatural feel to it, which made it a bit creepy - I think it added some tension to the story.  All in all, a good book for a rainy day.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!


Lark said...

Sounds like this author tried to do a little too much in this book; maybe she should have saved some of her ideas for her next one. :)

A Bookish Way of Life said...

Lark, yep, she did. I hate when they do that.