by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Memory House Collection #1
Genres: Magical Realism
IS IT POSSIBLE FOR A MEMORY TO OUTLIVE ITS OWNER? Ophelia Browne knows the answer is yes. She knows because she’s been granted the unique gift of finding and caring for those forgotten memories. But now she’s nearing ninety, and Browne women seldom live beyond ninety. Before time runs out Ophelia must find a successor. Someone who can take hold of the gifts and keep the memories from fading. When broken-hearted Annie Cross shows up on the doorstep of The Memory House Bed and Breakfast, Ophelia knows she is the one. The two women forge a bond of friendship as they sip magical dandelion tea and share stories. When Annie starts to sense the memories Ophelia is delighted, but then a thread of violence begins to unravel and Ophelia fears things have gone too far.
I love snuggling up and reading Bette Lee Crosby’s novels and Memory House was no exception. This time she offers a tale steeped in magical realism and I completely lost myself in Ophelia Browne and Annie Cross’s story. I am packing my bags and heading to the Memory House Bed and Breakfast. I have a strange hankering for dandelion tea.
Five reasons to curl up and read Memory House
- Bette Lee Crosby’s writing: Is magical from her descriptive writing to the easy flow in which her stories unfold. She offers unique characters with depth, lovability and manages to allow me to slip into her stories and lose myself.
- Memory House Bed and Breakfast: located in Burnsville, just outside Richmond Virginia is a quaint home surrounded by a garden with a sign half hidden. The owner runs an apothecary shop in the front and has two rooms available for guests. The white house is situated at the end of Haber Street and the owner never advertises as folks have a way of finding Memory House when they need it. I love that the house itself is like a character.
- The Characters: Ophelia Browne is almost ninety years old. She knows her time here on earth is limited but she is spry and intelligent. She tends her garden, mixes herbal remedies and has the ability to read memories in objects. She collects them and keeps them safe. I adored Ophelia and found myself envious of the time Annie spends with her. Her story, gift and presence were delightful. Annie Cross is at a crossroads. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend of seven years and is frustrated with work. She decides to take off for the weekend and soon finds herself at Memory House. We learn about her troubled romance and experience the growing friendship with Ophelia. Ophelia shares her gift with Annie and I loved how their friendship grew and strengthened.
- Narrative: The tale is delivered mostly in third person with chapters weaved in from Annie and Ophelia’s perspective. While I enjoyed the tale, I found myself particularly drawn to their first person perspectives as we grew to know them and learned their secrets.
- Magical Realism: I loved the concept of Memory House. Watching Ophelia share her stories regarding objects and Annie’s determination to unlock secrets from one object in particular. The tale is sweet, light and perfect for a rainy evening. I truly enjoyed the characters and was sadden when the story came to end. While Crosby chose to leave it open-ended, she gave us enough that creating our own happily ever after was easy. I closed this book with a smile while wishing I had some dandelion tea.
Memory House was delightful and I love how even the home was a character from the gardens to eating biscuits with honey in the kitchen. If you have never read a book with magical realism Memory House is a wonderful, memorable book to begin with.
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