Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby

May 25th, 2015 Kimberly Review 26 Comments

25th May
Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby
Memory House
by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Memory House Collection #1
Genres: Magical Realism
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

26 Responses to “Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby”

  1. Teddyree

    This sounds delightful as does Ophelia and I love magical realism, Sarah Addison Allen’s novels being a favourite. Thanks for lovely review, it’s going straight on my wishlist!

  2. Megan McDade

    This book sounds so good. I love when a setting feels like a character as well. I will definitely be checking this one out.

  3. Lindy

    The unique premise of Memory house sounds interesting. I enjoy stories with magical realism, and easy flow. The secrets in the story would have me turning pages, and I too enjoy when a story is told in third person 🙂

  4. Lorna

    Sounds really different, As in really really different. Glad you enjoyed it so much!

  5. Cyn

    Hmm, magical realism. I feel like I should try out more books like that! This sounds like a very interesting read. Thanks for the review!

  6. Meredith

    what a charming sounding read! It slightly reminds of The Giver for some reason. I’ll definitely be picking this up in the future! Great review!

  7. Kim

    Ophelia Browne, at ninety years old, sounds like such a wonderful character and the setting does too. I enjoy these kinds of books with a touch of magical and sweetness to them.
    Lovely review, Kimba 🙂

  8. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Quality writing is alluring enough for me, even without the magical realism, interesting narrative mode and excellent characters. This sounds wonderful, thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  9. Ramona

    This sounds familiar and lovely. Magical realism and atmospheric writing are a treat for my inner-bookworm 🙂 Wonderful review, Kimba. Have a beautiful week!

  10. kindlemom1

    I love everything you mentioned above Kim. I must read this one. I have been looking for something different lately to read and I think this might be one that will do it for me.

  11. Kay

    This sounds magical and a delight! Sign me up! Adding it to my TBR pile as we speak. 😀

  12. Nick

    I know Heidi really enjoyed this one too. I’m glad you liked this one so much, Kim. I don’t think it’s for me, but maybe my mom will love it. I’ll have to ask her to check it out.

  13. Laurel-Rain Snow

    Oh, I love the sound of that bed and breakfast and the dandelion tea. I so enjoy stories with older characters who tell wonderful stories…it reminds me of how I sat near by grandmother and listened to her tell of her adventures as a young person. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Silvia

    Sounds different and terribly fascinating! I’ll definitely have to check it out, thanks for the tip, Kimberly 🙂

  15. Grace

    This sounds wonderful! Also something different. I love that it has a focus on friendship too. Will definitely check this one out. Great review!

  16. Melliane

    It sounds like a really nice book and I confess that it’s the first time I hear about it but it sounds like a good read for me as well. Plus I love when it’s like that with the characters. Great review!

  17. Emma

    This sounds wonderful and completely different to anything I’ve read before – I love the memory living on idea of this novel it’s clever. Will definitely be adding to the TBR list – reading your reviews seems to be increasing my list a lot haha!