I love weekends where I have time to read. I get a lot of reading done, sometimes a whole book or two! That was the case this weekend. I was so excited to finally start The Memory of You, as I have been hearing about it for over a month now. Darn that TBR pile that makes it hard for me to read a book once it’s released! It was worth the wait. In fact, I was kind of sad when it ended. I wanted more!!
Purchase your copy at Amazon
About the Book
Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
This book was full of emotions, and I experienced every emotion right along with the characters. I laughed and cried (several times in fact). I felt sympathy, sadness, hope and grace. I was connected to this storyline and found myself wanting to help Natalie and Tanner through their grief.
Although some may call this a romance novel, I feel it is so much more than that. Both Natalie and Tanner had regrets and secrets from their past that were eating them alive. The real story was about their journey. Journey to healing, journey to letting go, journey to moving on, and journey back to the Lord. It was not an easy path for either character, just like it is not always easy for us. It bothers me when an author brings two troubled characters together, they become a couple and then poof – all their problems are gone and they can live happily ever after without addressing their issues. That is not the case here at all, and I appreciated the story more so because of it.
Ms. West paints a picture as you read her story, at least in my mind. The painting starts out kind of dark, with no pure light in sight. But as you stand there looking at it, little glimpses of color come into sight offering peach and hope. As you continue to dwell on it, the darkness begins to fade and the color shines brighter. Much like the story of Natalie and Tanner. Hope and peace were there, in their reach and in their light. They just had to look for it.
Overall this was a wonderful book. It did bother me the way Sarah and Jeffrey’s characters interacted near the end of the book – I did not feel it did their storyline justice at all. I would have rather liked to see that open ended, and perhaps a future book. Their reactions seemed rushed compared to the other things that were happening in the story, which surprised me because all the decisions and plot lines from the other characters seemed to go at a moderate to slower pace. Aside from this, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About the Author
Catherine West is an award-winning author writing stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management.
Having previously published three popular romance and women’s fiction titles, Catherine will publish her first novel through Harper Collins Christian Publishing this summer. The Things We Knew, a family drama set on Nantucket, released July 12th, 2016.
Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine@catherinejwest.com