REVIEW – The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

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Published September 6, 2016

St. Martin’s Griffin

 

I read “The Memory of Things” in one sitting. I was so intrigued by the story that I honestly couldn’t put it down. The writing was fantastic and I found myself completely invested in the lives of the characters. The Memory of Things is such a fitting title.

The morning of September 11, 2001 starts out like any other school day for sixteen-year-old Kyle Donohue. That all changes when moments later he watches out the window as the first twin tower comes down after being hit by a plane. Leaving the school to get home to safety, Kyle comes across a girl his age on the Brooklyn Bridge. She’s wearing costume wings, is crouched down, hiding, and covered in ash. He’s about to continue on but something pulls him back. It takes time but as they hear another explosion he convinces her to come with him and they run.

He brings her to his apartment. His father is with the NYPD and Kyle knows he’s down there trying his best to help. He’s worried about him and also about his mother who is out-of-town with his sister. But his Uncle Matt is there, and he needs Kyle. The girl doesn’t seem to remember anything…not even her first name. Kyle wants to help her.

Kyle is scared but tries to be strong in front of the girl and his Uncle.He can’t get through to his dad or his mom. It’s hard not to panic when his calls won’t go through, but he realizes everyone is trying to get ahold of someone they love. I can’t even imagine how hearing those busy signals would feel. Not being able to speak with loved ones and wondering if something has happened to them, or if they are fine and the calls just aren’t coming through.

This was such a powerful story told in alternating points of view, both Kyle’s and the girl. We see the beginning of a friendship that grows through this horribly uncertain time.  Kyle wants to help her regain her memory but worries that when she finds herself he will lose her.

I think the author did a fantastic job of showing what the days following such a horrific time could have been like for some people, especially people living in New York. As the characters walk through the almost empty streets in the days following the attack, seeing a banner that states “WE ARE STILL STANDING”. Such an emotional read.

“The buildings are gone, thousands of people are gone, but somehow we’re still here. Standing.”

I was in the middle of another book when I picked this one up. I was just going to read a few pages, and get the feel of the story. However, once I started reading I couldn’t stop.

In the note from the author at the end of the book, we learn how this story came to be. The author explains how she knew when the time was right to release this book. A coming of age story about healing, love, and hope. I feel that she told the story she wanted to tell…in a wonderful and respectful way.

I’m so glad I read this book and I am definitely excited to read more from this author.

Teaser Tuesday: December 19, 2017

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by The Purple Booker.

It is very easy to play along:

• Grab your current read and open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 

Here are my “teasers” :

“Good to see you out and about,” she said, before peering at the empty space around Essie. “Where’s Mia?”

“Essie,” her mum repeated, slower now. “Where is Mia?”

Essie shrugged. “I ….left her. At the park.”

 

From the novel:

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The Family Next Door: A Novel by Sally Hepworth

Expected publication: March 6th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

 

Goodreads Description:

A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park – and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

 

My thoughts so far:

I was really excited to start reading this novel.  I absolutely loved the author’s previous novel “The Mother’s Promise” and after reading the description for this book, I knew it was one I was going to have to read.  I’ve only read about fifteen pages so far, but I’m hooked.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

 

Music Monday : Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord – Boney M

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Music Monday is a meme that was created by Drew from The Tattooed Book Geek. You pick a song and/or video and share it on Monday.

The song and video I am sharing today is:

Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord – Boney M

This is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Actually, I love the whole album but I can listen to this song over and over.

 

 

“Mary’s Boy Child / Oh My Lord”

Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas DayLong time ago in Bethlehem, so the Holy Bible said
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day

While shepherds watch their flocks by night
They see a bright new shining star
They hear a choir sing a song, the music seemed to come from afar

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day

For a moment the world was aglow, all the bells rang out
There were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted
“Let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace”

And then they found a little nook in a stable all forlorn
And in a manger cold and dark, Mary’s little boy was born

Hark, now hear the angels sing, a king was born today
And man will live for evermore, because of Christmas Day
Mary’s boy child Jesus Christ, was born on Christmas Day

Oh a moment still worth was a glow, all the bells rang out
There were tears of joy and laughter, people shouted
“Let everyone know, there is hope for all to find peace”

Oh my Lord
You sent your son to save us
Oh my Lord
Your very self you gave us
Oh my Lord
That sin may not enslave us
And love may reign once more

Oh my Lord
When in the crib they found him
Oh my Lord
A golden halo crowned him
Oh my Lord
They gathered all around him
To see him and adore

(This day will live forever)
Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
They had become to doubt you
Oh my Lord (He is the truth forever)
What did they know about you
Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
But they were lost without you
They needed you so bad (His light is shining on us)

Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
With the child’s adoration
Oh my lord (He is a personation)
There came great jubilation
Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
And full of admiration
They realized what they had (until the sun falls from the sky)

Oh my Lord (Oh praise the Lord)
You sent your son to save us
Oh my Lord (This day will live forever)
Your very self you gave us
Oh my Lord (So praise the Lord)
That sin may not enslave us
And love may reign once more

REVIEW: The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman

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Published October 31st 2017 by Atria Books

 

I have been seeing this everywhere and decided I had to give it a read.

I love that gorgeous cover!

Honestly I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the story. I’m not going to go into the plot as the description itself is pretty long and goes into quite a bit of detail. I was definitely pulled in from the very first line and enjoyed the story, but just felt a bit like “that’s it?” when it was over. I knew the book was going to be short (96 pages) but I was still surprised when it ended as my Kindle said it was only at 56 percent. I’ve been having issues with my Kindle so I thought it was that, but then I realized the rest of it was an excerpt from the author’s novel, “Beartown”. Because I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t feel like I was at the end of the story and it took me a few moments to sort things out. I’m glad I downloaded it from the library as I think I would really have felt let down if I had paid $10 for the e-book.

Overall, I’m still glad I read it, and I look forward to reading more from Fredrik Backman.