The Memory House
By Rachel Hauck
Release Date: April 2, 2019
#Suspense, #drama, #time-slip, #women’s issues
BOOK COVER: Embracing the future means remembering the past . . .
When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that either.
Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.
Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.
“Accomplished Hauck demonstrates genre finesse as she blends inspirational romance with a cinematic style of storytelling, bringing empathic characters to life as they cope with grief in marriage and faithfulness, parenthood and adoption, death and tragedy. Challenging decisions, the blessing of finding love again, and the solace of a beautiful Victorian home all come together in this spellbinding, lovely novel.” —Booklist
REVIEW: This time slip story hooked me from the first as current timeline character police officer Beck Holiday bursts on the scene, “She was never afraid of the dark. But the light! Now that terrified her. So when the perp ran down shadowed, dark Avenue D, she followed without hesitation…”NYPD. Stop!”
I felt as if I were running down the avenue with Beck and her partner Hogan. I felt compassion for Beck, her situation and sensed her hard exterior helped her deal with life. I enjoyed this author well-timed humor in the middle of it all.
Everleigh’s heartbreaking story takes place in a peaceful quieter time in Waco, Texas, May 1958. Readers experience life and love through Everleigh’s newlywed eyes, filled with wonderful plans for the future. Her faith is tested, through horrific circumstances. At times she was weak, but ends up doing what she does best by keeping her head up and doing what needed to be done. In the end it ends up being her enduring legacy.
Everleigh and Beck, hit their bottom and can no longer go on living life as usual. It’s through the power of forgiveness and faith their lives are changed. They get a sense of hope from the prayers and encouragement of others. Bruno’s life also illustrates this when he reaches out to a young man in need of a hand up in the sports arena.
Bruno Endicott (Beck’s love interest) carved a niche for himself in the sports world despite the fact he felt people saw him as nothing. His faith journey was strengthened when he helped a downtrodden man be the best he could be. Don Callahan (Everleigh’s love interest) struggled with pleasing his parents or following his heart. He didn’t want to let anyone down but couldn’t live a lie either. I admired his determination to win Everleigh’s heart and love her unconditionally as she went through the grieving process. It was refreshing to read as the author put it, “Funny thing about love, real love – it filled every soul with courage.”
The story is mainly told through Beck and Everleigh’s eyes, but the author also has readers see things through Bruno Edinott and Dan Callagan’s eyes too. There were times I couldn’t read the book fast enough because of suspenseful moments in both time lines. I enjoyed the natural spiritual growth in the main characters. The theme of forgiveness and unconditional love were naturally woven in. Loved that. I liked Gaynor’s testimony, her display of grace and forgiveness. Her willingness to face the tough situations in her marriage and the things God calls her to walk through. Its mind boggling what forgiveness can allow you to do.
This book was a great read and one that would work well for book club with its rich characters, I enjoyed hanging out with and their fun story.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Nora St. Laurent
TBCN Where Book Fun Begins! http://www.bookfun.org
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THE MEMORY HOUSE AT AMAZON