Book Review: The Memory House
ashley | The Memory House by Linda Goodnight housed more than just memories. It housed grief and guilt and the hope and healing one needs to help feel whole again. A beautifully, haunted book; there’s everything from ghosts to mystery to love letters wrapped up and hidden in the corners of this old house, all of which bring together lost souls who are desperately wandering.
This was a very easy read. Flipping seamlessly between the past and the present, things flowed easily and the story was the kind of comforting story that captured my attention and interest. I say comforting in that while it was drenched in sadness, you could see the path that would inevitably bring together these sad and lonely people who desperately needed someone to help them heal and grieve, and I have a weakness for stories that bring happiness to people who have given up on their own happiness.
Eli was the delicious mystery one needs in their life to take their mind off their sorrows. Dark, handsome, full of secrets but seemingly harmless, those are the ones you need to look out for and Julia certainly wasn’t ready for everything he brought along with him. Still mourning the sudden disappearance of her son, Julia moved into the Inn to escape everything she lost, but every single day she thought of that little boy and shielded herself off from the rest of the world.
When things flip back to the past, a bit too much time was spent discussing how Will was a “good man”, but I did enjoy reading what he did that made him one. For a time of war and having to be a leader and make decisions you don’t necessarily agree with, Will had a good heart and his conflicting affections for Charlotte made him all the more interesting. Both past and present held strong, interesting stories that could have existed on their own but worked all the better complimenting each other.
I really enjoyed seeing these four characters grow closer together and heal each other 150 years apart. And I liked how the flashbacks to 1864 slowly transitioned into letters between Will and Charlotte. Letters that Eli and Julia eventually find and use to help mend their own wounds. Children also play a heavy role in this intertwining story and seeing how these individual children shape and affect their parents and the strength in that parental bond is a huge component of the emotional journey from start to finish.
This is one of those books where not a lot happens, but the growth and emotions the characters go through is abundant. Pieces of this reminded me a bit of The Lucky One and a bit of Labour Day, both which were beautiful stories of loss and loneliness. There wasn’t a ton of depth to the bonds, the men seem taken with the women quite quickly and things follow suit just as fast, but when you find a kindred spirit who understands unshakable sorrow, it doesn’t take much to gravitate towards them. There was such vulnerability and a sweetness to them all, it was enjoyable watching them grow together and find their footing in the end.