Tuesday, April 20, 2010

review: The Memory Thief by Rachel Keener

genre: adult fiction
source: publicist

When Angel sets fire to the trailer that was her home and escapes into the surrounding tobacco fields, her greatest hope is for a chance to tell the story to the person she believes is out there waiting for her. The few trinkets she takes with her are the remnants of her past that pack the punches of the hurt she's endured. And while Angel is at the crux of our story, we also meet Hannah, the daughter of two missionaries. Her incredibly strict upbringing as a long-skirted "Holy Roller" doesn't prepare her for for her sixteenth summer on the Carolina coast, where suddenly all the rules she was taught fly in the face of the joy she discovers.

What is the relationship between these two people? It didn't long to figure it out, but I loved the mystery of discovering the intricacies of how it happened and how it would resolve itself in the end. There is so much deception, so many heartbreaks - everyone in this book is hurting. Usually that would make a book drag and depress me, but somehow, THIS one didn't. Angel's "trailer trash" upbringing, Hannah's way of dealing with her choices, it made for such interesting reading - I believed it. I believed their pain and their different ways of suffering it. I ached for Angel and her tobacco field solace.

This book just flows, not always in a straight line - we keep switching plots until finally things converge, but I never felt lost in the shuffle. I let myself get carried away by their grief, hoping at some point that things would resolve. And even though I would've liked a tiny bit more at the end, I also see why it works perfectly. I'm giving this book my "comfy nest" award because it's been a good long time since I've read such a harsh story that was written with such grace.


bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, you've got me really excited about this book! It sounds fantastic!

Melissa said...

Okay, I'm trusting you and sticking this on my TBR list. :-D

shamers said...

I just finished this book after reading your review. Corinne you have such a gift with words! I agree that it was beautifully written - it was compelling and really evoked the place for me. Made me want to go back to Carolina and find some pottery! It descended a little too much into crazy soap opera land at the end for me, but I was invested in the characters and haven't stopped thinking about it. J tells me there must be a reason I'm so disturbed by it, so I'm trying to figure that out. But the author is very talented and I couldn't put the book down for wanting to see how it would all go.

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